Covid-19 continues to spread throughout the world. Most people affected will only develop mild symptoms, but some will require hospitalization, and others may even die. Sadly, experts have yet to develop a cure and/or a vaccine.
Thus, it is important to practice precaution against the disease, especially for older adults. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “as you get older, your risk for severe illness from Covid-19 increases.” Seniors are most vulnerable to the Covid-19. They account for 8 out of 10 Covid-19-related deaths.
The situation looks grim, but there are ways that the elderly could stay safe during the pandemic.
1. Stay home, stay safe from Covid-19
Per the World Health Organization, Covid-19 spreads through “contact and respiratory droplets.” This means, when a person infected with Covid-19 coughs, sneezes, or talks, they produce droplets that can land on another person’s mouth or nose. And so, the best way to avoid getting the Covid-19 is by avoiding other people.
But humans are social creatures. Much of our routine involves interaction with other people. However, some interactions are more important than others. It is a matter of finding out which are necessary and which could be avoided.
Except for exercise, seniors are advised to stay at home. Seniors should also limit their visitors to senior care providers.
Generally, your risk of contacting Covid-19 increases the more people you interact with, and the closer and longer those interactions are. Think twice next time you head out or allow someone in your home.
2. Use online alternatives
Groceries, banks, restaurants, and other establishments now have digital options. You place your order online and their products will be delivered at your doorstep. Doctors now conduct their checkups via video conference.
Instead of visiting your grandchildren, you could interact with them through apps like Zoom or Skype. You could also join exercise and other social activity groups online, catered for seniors, so you could socialize with friends. Universities also have online classes which you could stream for free.
To limit interaction, you should take advantage of online options whenever they’re available.
3. Keep distance, wear masks, and wash your hands
If you really have to interact with other people, make sure that you practice physical distancing. The CDC recommends you keep 6 feet of space from other people.. Avoid going to places where physical distancing is not possible.
Also, make sure that you and the people you interact with are wearing masks. Face masks help to stop infected people from spreading the disease. Face masks also protect you from inhaling droplets from other people.
Even though they “feel well,” they could be carriers of the Covid-19, as it is sometimes asymptomatic. For example, when someone delivers your food or groceries, make sure that they’re wearing face masks and gloves.
Make it a habit to limit touching surfaces and to wash your hands frequently. If you can’t wash your hands, use a sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Avoid touching your face, especially if your hands are not sanitized. This is because the virus also spreads by touching droplets on surfaces.
4. Maintain an active lifestyle
Exercise has been known to improve health, regardless of age. But it is especially more important for seniors to maintain an active lifestyle. Exercise improves your cardiovascular health and helps to maintain bone strength. It helps in weight loss.
Exercise does wonders not only to your body but also your mind, as it improves focus, memory, and happiness. Exercise could be a routine to keep your mind from boredom.
While the risk of Covid-19 remains when you’re outside, most exercise doesn’t require interaction with other people. Walking is the best activity that could be done by oneself. Further, you could join dance or yoga classes online, and do your exercise at home.
Just don’t forget to warm up before and cool down after!
5. Seek help whenever you’re feeling down
Despite apps that facilitate chat and video conference, it could still get lonely from time to time. Even more so now that everyone is forced to stay indoors. Experts note that, with stay at home orders, there has been a spike in loneliness and depression.
Seek help from your loved ones or care providers whenever the situation goes out of hand. While it is important to be wary of the Covid-19, we must not neglect other things like mental health.
Covid-19, a fact of life
Covid-19 will become a part of our lives in the years to come. It will take a while before a vaccine is developed, and even then, for it to be distributed. We must learn to live with the virus and adapt with the situation.
The government is doing its best to protect seniors. But seniors should also take steps and protect themselves, to further lessen their chances of contacting the virus.
We at Innovative Homecare make sure that our elderly care providers in Chicago, IL follow CDC guidelines on Covid-19, such as the wearing of face masks and handwashing. They are also required to undergo Covid-19 tests before being deployed to clients.