Hello Grandpal Community and friends,
Like the rest of the world, we are listening and learning as this situation develops across the globe.
There's currently a lot of information out there and it can be overwhelming. We feel that the most responsible and helpful position for Grandpal to take is to share our expertise and learnings in the space of elderly care in this new phase of social distancing and prevention of disease spread.
At the moment our advice is to avoid in-person visits in order to minimise unnecessary contact with such a vulnerable age-group. We are working with advisors in the healthcare space on this so everything is as clear and helpful as possible. Please read our recommendations below and feel free to reach out to us on firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or concerns.
COVID-19 (Coronavirus) is an illness caused by a virus that is spread between people. It affects the lungs and can cause pneumonia. The virus that causes COVID-19 is a new virus that crossed from animals to people in November of 2019 and because of this there is no immunity, no vaccine and currently no specific treatment available to help those who are sick.
The majority of people who get sick will experience a mild to moderate illness which could feel similar to having a bad case of flu. A smaller number of people will need much more medical care to help them through this illness. Because the virus spreads so easily, we know that a huge number of people will be sick all at once and this will create problems with our health service's capacities and hospitals therefore being unable to provide this medical care to everyone who might need it.
People over the age of 60 and those with pre-existing medical problems experience the worst symptoms and are more likely to need lots of medical support. Unfortunately, a significant proportion of this group may not be able to recover - this outcome is avoidable and we can all do our part to save lives.
A note for Grandparents in their 60s and 70s: We would ask that as families, you discuss and are aware of the fact that children in particular are carrying the virus without showing symptoms and can pass it onto to adults or older people very easily. Therefore we strongly recommend that the safest course of action for this next while includes avoiding visits with grandchildren and similar. This absolutely includes being involved in any childminding responsibilities, which we appreciate is complicated at the moment.
Be proactive about what they're going to need everyday help with:
Social distancing is important to help slow the spread of coronavirus. It does this by minimising contact between potentially infected individuals and healthy individuals.
Social distancing is keeping a space of 2 metres (6.5 feet) between you and other people. Do not shake hands or make close contact if possible.
Older people should not attend day centres, social groups, pubs/restaurants or spend undue amounts of time in public places like Doctors waiting rooms.
Unfortunately it seems as if the requirement to practice social distancing will go on for a significant period of time. Defeating COVID-19 is a marathon, not a sprint. So we need to think and plan for how we can make this period of time easier on ourselves and older people so that everyone can stick to it.
It's important to keep to normal routines as regards getting up, getting washed and dressed, meal times and bed times.
Use the time to do activities that you like but maybe didn't have time to do in the past
For practical and up to date advice on managing your health during COVID-19 crisis in Ireland visit
Department of Social Protection
For help and support around pensions, benefits and social welfare queries in Ireland
Government of Ireland
Resources on government guidelines for managing during COVID-19 outbreak
For more detailed information on COVID-19 visit
ALONE Ireland have stepped up and set up a phone-in support line as part of their nationwide collaborative effort to provide advice and links to information for anyone in need of reassurance. You can reach them on 0818 222 024.
Stay safe and stay smart
The Grandpal Team
The Grandpal app helps families like yours focus on the well-being of an older loved one, giving transparency and clarity to the mix so that your family is as effective a team as possible