The coronavirus and the illness it causes, COVID-19, are encroaching on every aspect of life. There’s the obvious impact on physical health, but it goes so far beyond this. The far of an unknown, fast-spreading virus and bad information create an anxiety of their own. This is compounded with the true information which is conflicting and changing, seemingly by the hour.
Families are experiencing massive changes to daily life. Most schools have shut down for the next month. Some are closing for the remainder of the schoo lyear. Suddenly, there’s a lot more homeschool kids, and not all parents are prepared for that.
The social distancing guidelines are impacting psychological wellbeing and contributing to isolation which reduces quality of life.
Faith & Hope Hospice in Los Angeles is seeing this firsthand. Most skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) and assisted living facilities (ALFs) are severely restricting visitors. Generally, only facility staff and other healthcare providers are allowed in the buildings. Families are prevented from visiting. While this should decrease the spread of coronavirus, it’s leaving residents feeling stranded. Their families fear the social isolation their loved ones are experiencing. This leads to feelings of helplessness.
Funerals are also impacted. Most family members living out of the area are unable to visit their dying loved ones due to travel restrictions. Those that do make it are sometimes unable to attend funerals because the funeral homes put restrictions on the number of guests that can attend. Often, five or fewer attendees. One puts the limit at two attendees.
What Can Be Done?
Despite the overwhelm of this pandemic, it is possible to regain some control. Faith & Hope Hospice is taking active steps to do just that.
Obtaining information is a great first step to regaining control of the virus. Here’s a few resources that give accurate and reliable information.
- Coronavirus Information
- Panicking About Coronavirus? Here’s What You Can Do
- Coronavirus information: What should I do?
- 5 Common COVID-19 Myths, Busted
- COVID-19: Information and News
- The Contagion We Can Control
Although family members are restricted from visiting, skilled nursing and assisted living facilities like Faith and Hope Hospice is able to bridge the gap by relaying information between patients and families. Our staff can advocate for our patients, relay information between patient/family/facility staff. We also facilitate conversations through phone calls – better yet, via video chat. These “virtual visits” don’t replace face-to-face interactions, they are a close second though. Although the tech is widely available, using it isn’t easy for everyone. Conversations over video chat can be awkward especially when someone has dementia.
To be the best hospice in Los Angeles, Faith & Hope works to make these virtual visits as meaningful as possible. That may mean that a team member meets a patient in a facility and another team member, usually a social worker, meets with the family at their home. Our team can assist and/or provide the necessary equipment for these video calls. The team can also facilitate the conversations to make them less awkward and more meaningful.
Faith & Hope Hospice also advocates for patients who are in the last 2-3 days of life to have family visits. The way this works varies by facility, but we’ll work with them to make it happen.
You likely have more questions. Check back ofter, as we’ll but updating the blog with more info as things continue to develop. You can read our previous blog posts here.
From Faith & Hope Hospice in Los Angeles, we wish you and your family health and happiness during this difficult time.