Tips on caring for older adults during quarantine

Helpful tips for caregivers during uncertain times.


Older adults are at higher risk for serious illness from the coronavirus disease 2019, or COVID-19. If you and your household are under quarantine — whether self-quarantine or otherwise — here are some tips for caregivers to help support older adults during this time.


Know what medicines and medical supplies your loved one needs

This includes both prescription and over-the-counter medicines. Be sure you know about any medical supplies, such as diabetes test strips and oxygen. See if it’s possible to have extra medicines on hand. Aim for at least a two-week supply. Talk with your doctor or pharmacist to learn how you can get what you need.


Create a plan for food and other supplies

Take stock of food in your household as well toilet paper, pet food and books or magazines. Work out who will arrange food or supply delivery, including ready-to-eat meals. Know how much is needed. Create a back-up plan.

Understand the rules for care facilities

If your loved one is in a care facility, make sure you understand the rules for keeping residents safe and cared-for.

Stay connected

Work out how you’ll communicate with your loved one. Set a regular time of day to call and check in. Have several methods of staying connected. These may include phone calls, text messaging, email, social media and face-to-face computer time. Cards or letters may also help an older adult stay engaged.

Make a list of emergency contacts

Have a list of phone numbers of family, friends, neighbors, health care providers, the local health department and other community organizations. Post the list in a central location in your household, for example, on a refrigerator. Make sure your loved one also has this list on hand.

Know about community resources

Does your loved one depends on community support and services (for example, an organization that delivers meals)? If yes, make sure their needs are being met. Know who to contact for more resources.

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  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Get your home ready. cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/get-your-household-ready-for-COVID-19.html. Accessed March 18, 2020.
  • National Institute of Health. How to Prepare. nih.gov/health-information/coronavirus. Accessed March 18, 2020.
  • World Health Organization. Coping with stress during the 2019-nCoV outbreak. who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/coping-with-stress.pdf?sfvrsn=9845bc3a_8. Accessed March 18, 2020.

The information provided is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be medical advice or a substitute for professional health care. You should consult an appropriate health care professional for your specific needs.