COVID-19 and the Senior Population
COVID-19 is a novel virus that emerged from the city of Wuhan, China, and it is unlike what we have seen before.
It has caused a global pandemic, infecting over 70 countries. So far, there isn’t a known vaccine, and the rapid spread has caused a national emergency, leading to the lockdown of many U.S. States. As of now, nobody knows when this will all be over.
What we do know is that older adults, 65 years and older, are at higher risk for severe illness from the virus. For that reason, it’s necessary that seniors know the seriousness of COVID-19, and how to stay safe and well in these crazy times.
Your Health Is The Top Priority.
Some experts say this virus can last into 2021, but you should take action now to ensure that you are being protected from catching the virus. To prevent the virus externally:
1. Wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds with soap and water.
2. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
3. Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, or cough/sneeze into the elbow.
4. Avoid contact with people who are sick.
5. Clean and sanitize surfaces of your home that are often touched to remove germs.
Keep Up Your Immune System Strong
In addition to ensuring a line of defense externally, you should always be sure to keep up with daily habits that boost the immune system.
1. Have a healthy, nutrient-rich diet.
2. Take your vitamins, or ask your healthcare provider to suggest vitamins.
3. Be sure to stay active, even if it is a 20-min walk around the block.
4. Sleep well. Nothing hurts the immune system like a bad night’s rest.
5. Stay hydrated. Seniors sense thirst less, but need 8-9 glasses of water a day.
Make A Plan For Before You Get Sick.
If this pandemic will teach us anything, it’s that we ought to stay prepared. Make sure you are taking the necessary steps to make sure that you are covered in any emergency.
1. Know who will take care of you if your caregiver gets sick.
2. Talk to your healthcare provider about having extra medications on hand.
3. Get enough supplies, including groceries in case you have to stay home for a few weeks.
4. Invest in a medical alert button that can stay with you anywhere you go.
Pay Attention To What’s Happening.
It’s important that you have an idea of what is happening in your area, and in your body, so that you can do what is necessary to protect yourself, and loved ones.
1. If COVID-19 is spreading in your community, stay home as much as possible and avoid crowds.
2. If you get sick with fever, cough, or shortness of breath, call your healthcare provider.
3. If you develop warning signs such as difficulty breathing, persistent pain, pressure in the chest, confusion, or blueness of the lips or face, these may be signs of serious illness. Call 9-11
Stress and Coping for Seniors.
With everything happening so quickly, it’s easy for seniors to live in a state of panic, and have problems with stress management. While you take the necessary actions, be sure to take care of your mental health as well.
1. Take breaks from checking the news and social media updates. Hearing about the pandemic too often can be overwhelming.
2. Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate. Your mind needs time to not think so much.
3. Make time to unwind and do activities you enjoy. Think of this as time to pick up an old instrument or game.
4. Take time to connect with people about your concerns and how you are feeling. Seniors are now all over social media.
It’s clear that we’re living in a very precarious time, but with the right preparation and attitude, it is something we can outlast and grow from. Our seniors today have lived through similarly tough times, if not even tougher, and it’s good to know that we can get through it together.
As an effort to give back to our seniors, and help them stay prepared in the face of this virus, Liferun is giving away medical alert service and a medical alert button every week. Sign up for the giveaway here!
For a look at our premiere lifesaving products, visit LifeRun.com