Caring For The Vulnerable During COVID-19

With the world in a time of crisis, many of us are being asked to stay at home and protect our health services and the vulnerable in our community. Some of us have moved in with our parents and taken on a full-time care role. This is a really rewarding lifestyle choice but can throw up a lot of challenges, depending on the health, age and medical conditions of your parents.

Change is hard on most people but can have a heavy impact on older members of our community who are used to being independent and having a routine. It is also hard if they have developing mobility issues or medical issues such as dementia. If your parents already have a care plan in place, sit and discuss this with them before you make any choices. They may have all the support they need at home and might not want any more changes to their lifestyle. If this is the case, discuss with them making more time to use video calls, perhaps investing in a device that is simple to use and can keep them in touch with you and your children.

If you are worried about your parent’s ability to care for themselves during the pandemic, you could consider moving in with them temporarily, this will be a significant change for you and your family, but could be better for your parents. Moving into your home could be confusing and might set them back. Routine changes can be challenging, and they will want to be in an environment they know.

There are many things to take into consideration. You will need to understand all of their medical and personal needs. It’s worth discussing this with their doctor to be sure you know exactly what level of care you need to provide. During your time, you may need a care team to visit your home. While this could be normal for your parents, make sure you check everyone who enters your home and deals with your family. Ask for ID before letting anyone in. They should have a doctor badge or other forms of identification on them.

If you are moving your parents into your home, you may need to make some changes to the layout and routine in your house. If you have young children or teenagers, then talk to them about how they may need to be a little more careful or quiet when in the house. You might also need to create a bedroom on the downstairs floor of your home if there are mobility issues. Check your local area for charities and organisations that can help give you advice and identify any problems you may not have considered.

Times of crisis can be hard on our mental health, and it’s imperative to take extra care of the people we love, without removing any independence they may have. If you decide to look after your parents during this time, then enjoy the experience of being so close to the ones you love. Make unforgettable memories and look forward to coming out the other side, stronger.

No, You Shouldn’t Sell Your Home During The Coronavirus Pandemic

With house prices falling due to the pandemic, it’s tempting to take advantage of the housing market. Selling now could be a smart way to recoup the value of your home while saving money. After all, the drop in house prices should let you snap one up pretty cheaply in theory. However enticing it sounds, it’s not a good idea. The truth is that there are too many variables to factor in because the COVID-19 crisis is so unpredictable. You’re better off investing in your current property and reassessing the market in the future.

Here are the reasons why.

Credit’s Harder To Secure

Yes, the housing market is nowhere near as valuable as before Christmas. Still, banks and lenders have reacted by making it harder to secure funding. Currently, Chase is saying that people who want a mortgage will need a credit score of 700 or more, which is very high. Plus, you’ll need a 20% deposit, too. On the face of it, these conditions are too stringent for the average homeowner and exclude you from obtaining a second loan. The last thing you want is to accept funding from a payday loan company or a loan shark to make a few bucks.

Fewer People Are Looking To Buy/Sell

Money is tight at the money, so it’s not as if the demand for property is high. If anything, it’s the opposite. Even if you could find a buyer, you’d need to search for a new home, or else you’d be homeless. Usually, this is the easiest part of the process, yet the Coronavirus has made it somewhat tricky. The percentage of houses for sale across the country are in the minus column, with only Detroit and Chicago showing room for growth. So, the odds of selling and buying a home right now are very low.

Supply Lines Are Disrupted

China is a hub for cheap materials. Of course, the virus has hit the nation harder than most places as it originated in China. As a result, exports are limited, and builders’ supply lines are reduced. This could delay constructions that add value to your property. Thankfully, North American windows and doors are still affordable and accessible. This means you can spruce up the interior of your home to add value and bide your time. When the market goes back to normal, you’ll be in an excellent position to sell for a profit.

Jobs Aren’t Guaranteed

The worst-case scenario is that you lose your job. While everybody assumes it won’t happen to them, the figures paint a different picture. The rate of unemployment is at a staggering 15%. To put this into perspective, it was as low as 3.6% in January. You could be fortunate enough to keep your job, but it isn’t a sure thing. Therefore, making a massive commitment is a stretch that could hit you hard.

The short, medium and long-term are unpredictable, which is why you shouldn’t sell your home.

Covid-19 : Status In Kerala 10-May-2020

Three of the seven new virus cases are those who returned to Kerala from Abu Dhabi on Thursday. Four more people recovered on Sunday, taking total number of recoveries to 489 in the state. The total number of active cases in Kerala rose to 20 on Sunday after seven new Covid-19 positive cases have been confirmed in the state, said Health Minister K.K. Shailaja. Out of the seven new positive cases reported today, two are from Thrissur and one from Malappuram and they reached the state from Abu Dhabi on 7 May.

The first Air India Express flight carrying Indian citizens from Abu Dhabi landed at the airport here on Thursday night as part of Indian government’s biggest ever repatriation exercise in its history to bring back its nationals stranded abroad amid the international travel lockdown over the Covid-19 pandemic. The Air India Express flight IX 452 with 181 passengers landed at the Cochin International Airport (CIAL) at 10.09 pm on Thursday. There were 49 pregnant women and four infants among the 181 passengers. She said four more people recovered on Sunday, taking total number of recoveries to 489 in the southern state.

Shops remained shut and vehicles were off the roads in Kerala as the state government’s order on total shutdown on Sundays came into force since morning as part of the efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The Left government had on Saturday night issued an order on “total shutdown across the state on Sundays” while exempting shops selling essential items and essential services. after the state registered cases in single digits, two new cases, expatriates who had returned to the state from Abu Dhabi and Dubai on Saturday, had tested positive on Saturday, causing concern as over four lakh people had registered with the NORKA portal wanting to return to the state. Roads remained empty across the state and shops were closed, except those selling essentials, including milk and medicines. Hospitals, labs and media among others will be permitted to function on Sundays.

Things You Can Do To Fight Boredom In Quarantine

If you have been twiddling your thumbs for the last few weeks wondering how to best spend your days in isolation, allow us to lend a hand and a few ideas…

We all know that the novelty of being at home wears off pretty quickly, and finding fun things to do during our time at home can be a challenge. But today we are here to stave off the boredom and give you some real inspiration!

Play Games

There are plenty of fun games to play during isolation whether you opt for the fruit blast or monopoly with your family. Take a look at the PlayStation store and take advantage of free games and offers. On mobile you can try out games such as Mario Kart, Simpsons Tapped Out, and Pokemon Go!

Host a Quiz

If you want to organise a fun event for your family or friends this week, one thing you can try is hosting a quiz through Zoom. You can share your screen and create a PowerPoint with questions, picture rounds, and even play music through the computer for a music round! It will be a great way to bring the family together and you’ll have lots of fun coming up with questions for everyone.

Make Bread

Baking bread is the most satisfying thing in the world, and if you have never done it yourself now is the time to learn. Baking bread isn’t too hard, and as long as you can get hold of strong white bread flour and dry active yeast you’ll be able to make some amazing loaves and crusty rolls.

Pamper Yourself

It is super important now that you are in the house to make the most of self-care and use your time to look after your skin, hair, and even learn how to paint your own nails. If you are bored and in need of some TLC, create your own pamper routine and make yourself feel refreshed, renewed, and healthy!

Decorate

Now and again it is a good idea to decorate the house and rearrange the furniture to freshen up the space and make it feel renewed. Now that we are all stuck at home it is the perfect opportunity to decorate and do some of those niggling DIY jobs we’ve been putting off for some time. If you have a tin of paint sitting in the shed, get it out and freshen up the walls! Move the sofa and chairs around the room to create a new dynamic, and even create some art pieces and hang them on the wall. Get crafty and use what you have to make the house feel renewed and refreshed.

Have a Clear Out

Are you a serial hoarder? If so, now is the time to have a clear out of your things. From the pantry to the wardrobe, take the chance to get rid of things you no longer want or need and allow the house to feel fresh and spacious once more this spring!

Covid-19: Lockdown Status In Kerala

A partial lockdown will continue until 15 May and further decisions can be taken based on the then situation. Districts with no fresh cases can be reopened but with a ban on public transportation and mass gatherings. Inter-state and inter-district travels should also be restricted until 15 May. The demand for testing and PPE kits are skyrocketing though and the state has asked the central government to take the charge in procuring kits.

Following the fresh classification done by the Centre, post May 3rd Kerala will have two districts each in green and red zones, while 10 are in the orange zone. Ernakulam and Wayanad come in the green zone, Kannur and Kottayam are in the red and the remaining 10 districts, including the state capital — Thiruvananthapuram — are in the orange zone.

Kerala government has decided not to open liquor shops in the state at the moment. The decision was taken at a meeting of health department chief secretaries summoned by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to discuss the relaxations provided during stage three of the lockdown to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Earlier, the Centre had granted states the permission to open liquor shops. However, the Kerala government decided against opening BEVCO outlets as customers could throng the outlets as bars remain closed. Following this, the CM directed not to open liquor shops in the state.

Courses To Take Now That Could Prove Invaluable Post-Lockdown

Lockdown life is unlike anything we’ve ever experienced. Suddenly, we’ve gone from never spending enough time at home to spending ALL our time there. And, honestly, it isn’t quite the luxury we imagined. Like anything when it’s put upon us, we’re now clawing at the walls and begging for the chance to exercise just once a day. But, as the adjustment period comes to a somewhat belated end, some of us are managing to put this new normal to positive use.

Most notably, people seem to be embracing this opportunity to finally make the most of home learning. The courses available have increased ten-fold, while even online learning outlets that have always been around enjoy unprecedented signup rates.

Of course, the lessons you choose to take away from this period are entirely down to you, and there’s nothing wrong with courses that simply help you to switch off. It is worth noting, though, that with job safety so uncertain at the moment, you could also benefit from thinking about new skills that will undeniably come in handy post-pandemic, including –

Health and safety/first aid

Even when lockdowns end, governments worldwide are talking about new safety processes to help prevent a much-dreaded ‘second wave’ of infections. In the UK, for instance, they’re talking about new layout requirements in restaurants, while the US centers around phased reopenings. Either way, workplaces globally face brand new challenges to keep customers and employees safe. As such, the call for health and safety or first aid trained individuals is about to increase no end. Even better, these courses are openly available online and don’t tend to take much more than a few days to complete.

Public relations

Even with these new safety regulations, many businesses are worried how customer interest will look after lockdown. After all, customers will still likely show some hesitancy about heading out, meaning that already struggling businesses will face further setbacks. Hence why PR experts are liable to come into play. And, hence why you’d benefit from taking this chance to learn more about public relations right now. This way, you’ll be in the best position to help brands plan promotions, marketing, and more that helps them rebuild consumer attention when they need it most.

Accounting

It’s also vital not to underestimate how much accounting services will come into play for industries post-lockdown. After all, companies will have gone untold amounts of time with no revenue by this point, and bringing the right people on board to help them overcome that will be a priority. Whether you have some accounting experience or are starting from scratch, tackling a course in this area now means you’ll be at the forefront of that increased demand, and changing the face of businesses as we know them!

Lockdown is, undeniably, frustrating, but this time also brings a great deal of opportunities. While there’s no such thing as a wasted course, then, consider these fundamentals to get your foot in these soon-to-be-booming careers sooner rather than later.

Taking Care of Senior Citizens: COVID-19 Pandemic

The current global pandemic has caused major disruption across the globe, and left many Americans in difficult situations. But the most at-risk age group are senior citizens and particularly those with existing health conditions, many of who are currently living in self-isolation.

So how can we take care of our parents, grandparents, and the senior citizens in our community at this difficult time? It is important to remember first and foremost not to contaminate the space of, or have physical contact with, anyone in the most at-risk groups. But there are lots of other things you can do to provide advice and support.

Health Precautions 

If you are taking care of a senior citizen – either living with them, or delivering food, medicines or other support, it is very important to take care of your own health and follow strict precautions. Wash your hands frequently, and certainly before and after coming into contact with another person, or when touching objects that someone else will use. If you’re preparing food for someone else, wash your hands carefully and wear a clean mask if possible.

Avoid crowds and confined spaces with other people wherever possible, keep your hands away from your face, and carefully dispose of used tissues. If you can use a different bathroom from an at-risk person, this is advised. Clean frequently-touched surfaces in your home often, including mobility and medical equipment used by your loved one, such as walkers, canes and handrails.

Financial Support

The COVID-19 epidemic has left many people out of work and struggling financially. As a result, the government has issued a universal stimulus check to supplement incomes in this difficult period. To receive your check, you need to have registered your taxes for 2018, or be paying tax through your work.

But many people have been asking: will senior citizens receive a stimulus check? A comprehensive answer to this question can be found through the link in blue. But generally speaking, senior citizens should be eligible to receive this financial support. If someone you care for needs to claim this money, you can check their eligibility through the IRS website. This check can be used to pay for rent, supplies, or anything else you might need. So it can be a vital lifeline for a vulnerable person. You can help make sure your loved ones are eligible to receive it.

Socialising and Emotional Support

Social distancing shouldn’t mean anyone feels isolated or lonely. It is important to encourage loved ones and senior citizens in your community to find safe ways to receive emotional support and socialise safely. This could mean daily phone calls with friends, family, and other isolated members of the community. You can also find ways to connect online, with faith groups, hobby groups, and other supportive communities. Help set up video calls and introduce any technology which might help them feel connected.

If you suspect someone might be isolated on their own, you can post a card through the letterbox with your phone number, and offer to pick up groceries or medicines, or just to have a chat if they’re feeling lonely. But be extremely careful to do so safely – wash your hands, don’t have physical contact, and clean anything you are leaving for them.

The Institute on Aging also offers a Friendship Line, for senior citizens to call in a crisis, and provide support and advice when needed.

This is a difficult time for everyone. But senior citizens are particularly at risk, and may be more isolated. Taking care of an older loved one is also a great way to keep yourself busy and feeling connected. So do whatever you can to help.

Lockdown Opportunities: It’s Time To Purge Your Home of Irritation!

The COVID-19 pandemic is likely to have already made significant changes to the way you lead your life. It’s likely that you’re spending virtually all of your time at home. You’re probably grappling with the challenges of remaining productive amidst the various distractions of the home environment. Hopefully you’re using this as an opportunity to learn more, improve your skills and make significant changes to your life and career when the lockdown is lifted. Nonetheless, given that you’re temporarily grounded, now’s as good a time as any to address all the little niggles that have been bugging you around the house. All the things that prevent you from being less than delighted with the home you’ve made for yourself.

Here we’ll look at some irritations you can purge from your home during lockdown to be the happiest you’ve ever been between your four walls. Don’t look at the lockdown purely as a time of crisis. Look upon it as a time of opportunity. The home is where the heart is. Let’s get you heart healthy!

Declare war on waste

You don’t need the expense from wasted money adding to your troubles. So declare war on waste in your home. Rotate your refrigerator regularly to ensure that food doesn’t get wasted. Eliminate drafts with excluders for your doors and windows. You may even want to look into using a company like Plymouth Window Installation to replace your old inefficient windows. This may result in some upfront expense but can potentially save you over $400 a year on your heating / AC bills.

Fix those leaky taps

Leaky taps can be a source of real irritation, preventing you from being able to relax and slowly driving you up the wall. Not to mention driving up your water bill. However, there’s no need to bear the expense of calling out a plumber. A leaky tap can virtually always be fixed at home with a few rudimentary tools and a cheap washer. Here’s a useful video tutorial.

Banish clutter

Clutter is visually distracting and can prevent you from being able to relax after a stressful day of work. In fact, it can even add to your stress and have a surprising impact on your mental health. Think long and hard about what you want to keep on display and confine the rest to storage. You may be surprised how much more spacious and calm it makes your home look and feel.

Purge your workspace of distractions

With all that’s going on at the moment, the last thing you need is to have to content with workplace stress. But working in an environment that’s full of distractions can sap you of your productivity and add to your stress levels. Here are some ways you can purge your home workspace of distractions and irritation;

  • Keep your phone in your desk drawer (or better yet, in another room).
  • Consider soundproofing your home office.
  • Install distraction blocking software on your computer.
  • Remove loose papers from your desk or keep them in a desk tidy.
  • Add some houseplants to your office. They help to oxygenate your space and lend it a sense of calm and serenity.

With a little knowhow, your home can be made more relaxing and free of irritation and stress.

Covid-19 : Kerala Update 09-0-2020

Well it looks like the lockdown will continue for a while.Describing the COVID-19 pandemic as an “unprecedented” public health crisis in recent history, a Kerala government-appointed task force has pitched for a “phased” and “calibrated” lifting of the national lockdown, saying “time is not yet ripe” for its full withdrawal from April 14.Continuing restriction of large scale movement of people across international and state boundaries was critical and easing it should not be considered unless and until the situation was under control in every state, it suggested. However, the panel said it also felt that prolonged and stringent lockdown would lead to economic hardship, famine and law and order problems, which could undermine both the lockdown and the health management objectives. On Tuesday the state would be able to chart its future course of action only after knowing the Centre’s decision on the 21-day lockdown, imposed to check the spread of the deadly virus.

A phased withdrawal would be sustainable only if there was a steady recovery and decline in the number of cases leading to initial flattening of the infection curve and then gradual tapering of the curve to zero infection cases. The government should advise people of the state that in the event of a resurgence, they should be ready and willing to undergo the rigours of a complete lockdown once again, it said. It suggested that the unit for operationalising a phased withdrawal approach should be a district as it had defined boundaries and an executive magistrate who had the authority to effectively enforce the measures of the phased lockdown.

We might also see, as per the suggestions, wearing masks in public, limiting the number of passengers in public buses to one-third of the capacity of the vehicle, and rapid testing and screening of those who return to Kerala once the state’s borders are reopened. A draft action plan compiled by a 17-member task force has suggested continuing with strict restrictions on commercial, industrial, religious and cultural activity in seven hotspot districts that cover half of Kerala, where the risk of infection is higher. The administration does not believe that major revenue making avenues, such as tourism, alcohol, jewellery and lottery sales, will return to normal functioning anytime soon.