Keeping Seniors Safe During COVID-19
If you are a senior, a loved one, or a caregiver, you will know that the current COVID-19 pandemic poses a higher risk to certain groups of people, including older adults aged 65 and above. As we watch the spread of coronavirus in seniors across the country, we recommend that seniors and those around them follow best practices mandated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and use the highest level of caution. Below are our coronavirus safety tips for seniors.
- Stay at home. Except for essential medical care and walks outside, seniors should stay inside. If you know a senior living nearby, offer to deliver them groceries and other necessities (while maintaining social distancing) or teach them how to use food and grocery delivery apps so they can avoid trips to the store. Seniors should avoid traveling and large group gatherings, which have been banned in many states across the country.
- Practice social distancing. Whether your loved one resides at a senior living community or with family members, they must avoid close contact with those around them by maintaining at least six feet of distance. This rule does not apply to caregivers administering medically necessary care.
- Wash your hands. Regardless of age or vulnerability, everyone should be washing their hands frequently for at least 20 seconds. Make it fun with this website, which pairs lyrics from your favorite songs with a handwashing infographic.
- Clean and disinfect. Most household disinfectants should work, but you can check the Environmental Protection Agency’s list of disinfectants that are effective against the virus. Make sure you are cleaning frequently touched surfaces such as doorknobs, remote controls, tables and countertops, faucets, light switches, etc.
- Wear a mask in public. To prevent illness and the spread of the virus, everyone should be wearing a face cover when in public spaces even if they do not feel symptomatic. Masks offer added protection while in public spaces where social distancing isn’t always possible, such as pharmacies or grocery stores. The CDC has provided instructions on how to make your own face covering at home. (Note: face masks are NOT advised for young children under the age of two, anyone who has trouble breathing or who is unable to remove the mask without assistance.)
- Take care of your mental health. This time of uncertainty can cause an increase in stress especially among seniors. It’s important that coronavirus elderly advice includes looking after a senior’s mental and emotional health as well. Make sure that you are actively taking breaks from the news and social media to focus on other things that bring joy. Adapt your daily routine to include socially distanced exercises, stretches, meditation, and hobbies. Make sure you are maintaining a well-balanced diet that includes healthy meals for seniors in particular. Most importantly, make sure you are finding ways to stay connected with your loved ones. Leverage technology like Skype, Zoom, and FaceTime to actually see your loved one’s faces and talk often. Are you a loved one that needs to keep a safe distance but wants to stay connected with a senior? Consider sending a handwritten note, sending a small gift from a local business that’s offering delivery, or dropping by their house for a window visit that maintains a safe distance.
The above coronavirus senior living precautions aim to protect older adults and those around them. We should all be focused on prevention and flattening the curve. To stay up to date on the ongoing COVID-19 situation, visit the CDC’s website.
To learn more about how Enlivant is keeping our residents safe during this time, click here to visit the COVID-19 page on our website.
Flu shots are just one way seniors can prepare for flu season. Read our list of flu prevention tips to help seniors reduce the risk of catching the flu.