While older adults are not the only ones at risk for the coronavirus, they are at a greater risk for more serious and deadly consequences. Here are 6 tips to protect seniors from COVID-19.
1. Social Distancing
Social distancing means avoiding people, nonessential travel, public transportation, and social gatherings. Staying away from other people and remaining at home is difficult. Especially for older adults who may live alone or in a nursing home. Even maintaining a distance of six feet from another person can be tough to maintain, and we may be tempted to just drop the rule when among friends.
How can you improve this potentially depressing situation? For those with smartphones, computers, or tablets, regular meetings via zoom, WhatsApp, skype, or facetime are great ways to continue those regular get-togethers. Family members, neighbors, or friends can help you to set-up the technology you need to be in contact with others.
2. Do not go to the doctor’s office for nonessential appointments
If your appointment is not an emergency, and it can wait – it’s best to refrain from going to the office.
What about chronic conditions or small issues that require some attention? Telemedicine is the best way to communicate with your doctor about these issues. If your doctor thinks a visit is necessary, he/she will give you the necessary guidelines.
3. Stay away from public places including the pharmacy and supermarket
Even if the supermarket is empty, germs can remain on grocery carts and other surfaces. Online deliveries are the best. You can also stockpile two to three months of medication. If this is not possible, try online pharmacy delivery services.
There are certain supermarket items that would be wise to keep in stock including toothpaste, laundry detergent, water filters, etc.
If you’re concerned about food, you can prepare and freeze meals.
4. Maintain hygiene
- Don’t touch “high-touch” surfaces like doorknobs, elevator buttons, etc. If you must touch them, wash your hands before and after touching these surfaces.
- Disinfect any new equipment that comes into your house and regularly wash hands with soap and water.
5. Appoint a family friend or neighbor as an emergency contact for your concerns and to help you when needed.
6. Eat healthily and exercise to maintain your strength and mobility.
With much still unknown about the current pandemic, these precautions are critical. Perhaps equally important, older adults should maintain a support system and should read or watch updates from reliable sources like the CDC for further instructions and advice.