There’s a saying we often use on The Conversation Project team: “never worry alone.” This idiom is meant to encourage one another to express our concerns, if any, and to let our peers know how they can best support one another during challenging times. When we act on this sentiment, our team grows closer and our anxieties often subside. In the wake of COVID-19, we know there are many people who are experiencing different levels of anxiety. Well, we’re here to tell you that you don’t have to worry alone. We’ve compiled a sampling of resources to help you take care of yourself and others during this time. And, as you keep socially connected, we hope these resources will help you think through what matters most to you when it comes to medical care and help you talk about this with those that matter most to you. We hope these resources put your heart at ease.
With the generous support from the Cambia Health Foundation, The Conversation Project and Ariadne Labs teamed up to create this new tool to help people take action and be prepared. We can’t control how this pandemic plays out. But we can control who speaks for us if we’re unable to speak for ourselves, and we can take the time to make sure they know what matters most to us. Have the conversation today.
Manage Anxiety and Stress
Everyone reacts differently to the emotions surrounding COVID-19. CDC offers tips for coping with stress for the general public, parents, families and children, first responders, and people who have been released from quarantine.
This thoughtful piece highlights IHI’s Pedro Delgado’s reflections on the importance of human connection in a time of necessary physical separation.
Do you have article fatigue? Anxiety about everything going on right now? This is one piece worth putting at the top of your reading list. Great tips for how to process everything swimming around in our heads.
Affording healthy food is a challenge for many older Americans, but the spread of COVID-19 has made matters worse. Whether you’re facing difficult financial times or are unable to leave your home, there are resources from the National Council on Aging that may be able to help
Help for Older Adults and Family Caregivers
- Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Resources for Older Adults, Family Caregivers and Health Care Providers
As we all work together to ensure the safety of the public, and in particular, older adults and other individuals who are at increased risk from COVID-19, it is important to turn to trusted sources of information. This page from the John A. Hartford Foundation offers resources for older adults, family caregivers and health care providers, including resources from AARP, Family Caregiver Alliance and others.
Most likely, dementia does not increase risk for COVID-19, just like dementia does not increase risk for flu. However, dementia-related behaviors, increased age and common health conditions that often accompany dementia may increase risk. This article offers tips for individuals caring for people living with dementia.
Talk with Your Children
An article that offers a list of ways you can talk to your kids about the coronavirus. This article is intended to help you introduce a challenging topic to your children in a simple way that they can easily digest.
So what should you tell kids about the coronavirus, and how? This article shares tips from a pediatrician, two psychologists, a pediatric infectious disease specialist and a safety expert.
Discuss Care Wishes and What Matters Most
Talking about death is ultimately talking about life — about who and what matters to us, and how we can live well even when we are dying. Rather than being motivated by fear and anxiety, we can open these discussions from a place of care and concern.
We can’t control how this pandemic plays out. But we can control who speaks for us if we’re unable to speak for ourselves, and we can take the time to make sure they know what matters most to us. Have the conversation today.
- This Pandemic Is Personal: Why I’m using my confinement to reach out to people I care about, focus on gratitude, and be in the present.
A beautiful piece by Ira Byock, MD about how in midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, he has come to terms with his mortality and through this has been motivated to live life more fully. His piece highlights the importance about sharing what matters most to you with those who matter most.
This piece talks about the power of conversations, engaging patients in the gray area of trying to maximize length of life and quality of life and minimize suffering in the context of a serious illness. The goal is for both physicians and patients to arrive at a shared understanding of patients’ priorities should they be diagnosed with COVID-19.
This piece, written by Dr. Leana S. Wen, focuses on why it’s important to plan ahead for what will happen if you or a loved one is diagnosed with COVID-19 and the steps you can take to make sure you are prepared.
Planning documents & websites
As part of the Patient and Family Support Resources page in the COVID-19 Toolkit put together by The Center to Advancing Palliative Care (CAPC), this tip sheet can be shared with families so they can plan ahead in the event they become ill, and make their care wishes known. Adapted by the National Patient Advocate Foundation from the PREPARE For Your Care program. Additional information includes links to CDC resources.
As PREPARE For Your Care notes, we are all in this together. You can do your part by making a plan. This plan can help you, your family, friends, and your medical providers.
It is more important than ever that your loved ones and healthcare team understand what matters most to you in the event that you become seriously ill. This guide, produced by Respecting Choices, is designed to help you think through your future healthcare choices.
A comprehensive set of resources and planning steps, as part of Cake’s collection of important conversations and end of life planning articles, whether you are worried about yourself or concerned about the physical and mental health of others. Resources include steps to create a Cake profile for free to discover, document, and share your end-of-life wishes.
MyDirectives’ easy-to-use platform lets people upload their paper directives, advance care plans and portable medical orders, create a digital advance care plan, even add audio and video messages, all for free. Documents are securely stored and can be easily shared 24/7 and pulled into any electronic medical record.
- COVID-19 Response and Resources: As COVID-19 is dramatically impacting the health and wellbeing of people and families living in our communities, the Cambia Health Foundation furthers its commitment to support immediate community needs and emerging issues that may result from the long-term health and socio-economic impacts of the pandemic. This page offers links to a comprehensive set of resources, including those for caregivers.
We know this isn’t an exhaustive list and there are many more resources to help. We will be updating this list as a living document and will be sharing new resources our team currently is developing to help you share what matters most. Please add any resources or articles that have helped you or those in your social circles in the comment section below. We are all in this together.