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Taking Care of My Parents During COVID-19 Outbreak

09 April, 2020
Q For the past month, my husband and I didn’t visit our parents due to “social distancing” measures.

Although they need our care and help, we are afraid of visiting them and preferring to stay at home for their safety.

We call them every day, however, I feel guilty. Please help me what to do?

Answer

In this counseling answer:

•In most places, you are allowed to visit your parents to make sure they are okay, help them with medical needs, food, and other things that they may require.

•If you and your husband are not socializing with other people and have been isolating then you should be okay to go help your parents without risking them.

•Please do check with your local city and state laws about how you can provide services yourself or get help for them.

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•Find out from the health officials how your patents can be assisted.


As salamu alaykum sister,

Shokran for writing to our Live Session. I understand your concern about your parents. We are in a serious situation and they need to be protected and cared for. They are elderly and at a higher risk for getting covid-19 more severely.

Taking Care of Parents/Elders During Covid19

The social distancing measures are meant to protect everyone, especially the most vulnerable such as the elderly.

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However, in most places, you are allowed to visit your parents to make sure they are okay, help them with medical needs, food, and other things that they may require.

Please do check with your cities regulations on how to help your parents. In a lot of cases, the elderly cannot do the grocery shopping, buy the things that they need, and get to medical appointments in an emergency. They need help. We need to make sure that they are okay.

Taking Care of My Parents During COVID-19 Outbreak - About Islam

Concern for their Safety

While I understand you prefer to stay home for their safety, there are probably things that they need that you can help with.

For instance, how are they getting food and medication? How are they getting toiletries? If you and your husband are not socializing with other people and have been isolating then you should be okay to go help your parents without risking them.

I kindly suggest that you do consult a health official regarding this, however. They can offer tips for keeping your parents safe such as you and your husband wearing homemade masks, wearing gloves, keeping the appropriate distance while there, sanitizing things you touch at your parents, and so forth.


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By using precautions, in most cases it should be safe to go help them. You also don’t want your parents in the position where they are going without needed supplies such as food and medication that would be dangerous.

Please do check with your local city and state laws about how you can provide services yourself or get help for them.

Fear in Elderly

I can imagine your parents are very afraid and alone right now. You and your husband’s presence would assure them and help them in their fears, this is important.

If permitted, please do visit with them and assure them that they are not alone and that you are there for them and able to come to help them.

Conclusion

Sister, as I am not sure what country you live in and what the laws are regarding the shelter in place where you reside, please do find out, and proceed accordingly.

For instance, if there is no movement allowed out of the home for any reason then obviously you can’t go help them. Find out from the health officials how your patents can be assisted. If there is allowances to help parents or the elderly then you can certainly go.

Call your parents ahead of time ask them what groceries and things they may need for themselves in the home, and what medications need to be picked up. You may wish to do a weekly schedule for this to ensure their needs are met but be clear you will come if there is an emergency so they feel safer.

As our elderly are most vulnerable during these times they should not be left alone. I understand you check on them and talk to them every day, however, they probably have many unmet needs right now.

They are probably very scared and feeling alone and vulnerable. Please do what you can to take care of them in this most difficult time.

May Allah protect you and your parents and grant ease.

***

Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.

About Aisha Mohammad
Aisha has a PhD in psychology, an MS in public health and a PsyD. Aisha worked as a Counselor/Psychologist for 12 years at Geneva B. Scruggs Community Health Care Center in New York. She has worked with clients with mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, panic disorder, trauma, and OCD. She also facilitated support groups and provided specialized services for victims of domestic violence, HIV positive individuals, as well youth/teen issues. Aisha is certified in Mindfulness, Trauma Informed Care, Behavioral Management, Restorative Justice/ Healing Circles, Conflict Resolution, Mediation, and Confidentiality & Security. Aisha is also a Certified Life Coach, and Relationship Workshop facilitator. Aisha has a part-time Life Coaching practice in which she integrates the educational concepts of stress reduction, mindfulness, introspection, empowerment, self love and acceptance and spirituality to create a holistic healing journey for clients. Aisha is also a part of several organizations that advocates for prisoner rights/reentry, social & food justice, as well as advocating for an end to oppression & racism. In her spare time, Aisha enjoys her family, photography, nature, martial arts classes, Islamic studies, volunteering/charity work, as well as working on her book and spoken word projects.