Older adults are especially vulnerable to the effects of the global pandemic. Studies have shown that adults aged 60 and older — especially those with other pre-existing medical conditions like heart disease and diabetes — are at the greatest risk.
Thus, you might be worried about your loved ones if you’re caring for them. Here is how you can stay healthy during the pandemic.
Keeping Yourself and Others Physically Healthy
First of all, you want to make sure that you don’t get sick yourself. You may be able to fight it off if you’re younger and don’t have any pre-existing conditions, but your loved one is at a much larger risk.
Make sure to follow these basic measures:
- Wash your hands with soap and warm water for 20 seconds before and after preparing food, after using the bathroom, touching surfaces in public places, or coughing and sneezing
- Frequently clean and sanitize handrails, countertops, tables, and other frequently touched surfaces frequently
- Frequently clean and sanitize any equipment your loved on uses, such as canes or walkers
- Avoid touching your face, especially after touching public surfaces and similar objects
- Cough and sneeze into a tissue or your elbow if a tissue isn’t available
- Try to stay away from crowds — if you can’t, maintain 6 feet of distance from others
- Wear a mask if possible
Social Distancing — Not Social Isolation
Seniors already face higher rates of depression for a variety of reasons, from the loss of a spouse to lack of social contact. A pandemic that is especially dangerous to the elderly only exacerbates this issue.
While following all safety measures to protect older individuals, it’s important to make sure they are in a good place mentally.
This is challenging, as you want to limit in-person visits to minimize the spread. However, you can have your loved one get on video calls through their phone, tablet, or computer to stay connected with others.
Additionally, encourage your friends and family to contact your loved one through these means, as well as over the phone and even via written letter.
Lastly, make sure they get up and move if they can. Encourage exercise by taking them on a physically distanced walk if possible. Getting moving outside in the sunshine and fresh air can help.
Angels On Call makes the health and safety of our patients and their families priority number one. You can rest assured we follow all CDC-recommended safety guidelines in the course of providing our home care and home health services. Contact us today to learn more.