Partnering Between Caregivers and Healthcare Professionals during Covid-19

Original Publishing Date: 30 June 2020
Publisher: Forbes
Author: Sarah Lindenfeld Hall

“Health care professionals must recognize and work with these essential, but unpaid and informal health care workers.”

The pandemic has made life even more stressful for caregivers with their loved ones’ health being at greater risk and the complications that could arise if they themselves were to fall sick.  With increased precautions coming into place to restrict the spread of the infection, caregivers aren’t allowed inside for their loved ones’ medical appointment. This can make them feel lost as they are used to monitoring every aspect and being up to date with their loved one’s condition. This is where healthcare practitioners should step in and ease the burden on caregivers by lessening the gap in communication.

“It’s important that there is a dialogue between health care providers and families……and consider family caregivers as essential front line health workers”

The second part of the article focuses on how healthcare practitioners can support caregivers. It is essential that healthcare practitioners recognize caregivers and give them their due importance that they deserve. They can help by educating them about the kind of protective gear that they can invest in. They must check in with the caregiver and see how they are coping with the current scenario and the additional responsibilities. They could continue to do regular check-ups of patients using electronic devices and over video conferencing platforms keeping the caregiver in the loop. They need to encourage caregivers to have a conversation with their loved one about what needs to be done when they are not in a position to make decisions for themselves. It could be an uncomfortable conversation and one that the caregiver might not be willing to acknowledge but it is crucial. Lastly, caregivers suffer from self-doubt but words of comfort and praise from their healthcare practitioner could go a long way in boosting their spirits.

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