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Caregiving during the pandemic

March 01, 2021

Here's what to ask when email and phone calls are the main way to help loved ones in a long-term care facility.

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Managing a loved one's care in a nursing home or an assisted living facility has always been challenging. And it's harder now that visitation is extremely limited to protect residents from COVID-19. So how can you check on your loved ones, make sure they're being cared for properly, and let them know you're there for them?

Direct communication

If your loved one is able to communicate well, a daily phone or video call is crucial. But remember that when you ask basic questions — "How are you feeling?" "Are you eating and drinking enough?" "Are you getting enough sleep?" — you may not get an honest answer. "They may just tell you what you want to hear," says Dr. Suzanne Salamon, associate chief of gerontology at Harvard-affiliated Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

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