Though COVID-19 affects people of every age, senior citizens are most at risk.
Here are some tips to help seniors stay safe during the pandemic.
The refrain has been repeated all year long: Stay home if you can.
We’ve heard it so often that, for many of us, tuning out the advice has become second nature. If you’ve managed to stay safe so far, you might feel a false sense of security.
Recommendations about staying home haven’t changed. The danger level hasn’t gone down.
Skip parties. Don’t fly unless you have to. And don’t go on a cruise.
Staying home is difficult when you’ve run out of groceries, medications, or other necessities. If you’re a senior, ask your friends and family to pick up groceries for you. If you know a senior, offer to run errands for them.
If friends and family aren’t able to help, you can still have groceries delivered. Many grocery stores offer online delivery services. If stores near you don’t offer delivery, try a third-party option like Instacart.
If you can’t find any grocery delivery options, ask around to see if a local teen will pick up groceries for a small fee.
If you or a senior you know absolutely can’t avoid going to the store, check to see if shops near you have senior hours. Some stores set aside times when only seniors may shop.
During senior hours, there are fewer people in the store. You’re less likely to come in close contact with someone who has COVID.
Masks, Hand Sanitizer, and Hand Washing
Always wear a mask when near anyone who doesn’t live with you. If anyone in the home feels sick, masks should be worn even at home.
If you wear disposable masks, replace them regularly. Fan of cloth masks? Switch them out daily, and make sure to wash them.
Hand sanitizer is a life-saver when you’re unable to wash your hands, so make sure to keep a small bottle with you wherever you go. Washing your hands with soap and water is the gold standard, though. Whenever you can choose between hand sanitizer or soap and water, choose the soap and water.
In response to the pandemic, many doctors offer remote appointments. If possible, make a video or phone appointment instead of going to your doctor’s office.
There are also a variety of medical advice hotlines. If you aren’t sure what number to call, give your pharmacy a ring. They can direct you to the appropriate hotline.
The pandemic has been hard on everyone’s mental health. Staying at home can be isolating, especially if you live alone.
Emotional health is hard to manage at times like this. Treat mental well-being as a top priority.
No man (or woman) is an island. Though it’s not safe to have parties or visit everyone you love, communicate often. Talk about how you’re doing. Ask your loved ones whether they’re holding up okay.
The safest way to socialize is through video calls and telephone calls.
However, if you choose to socialize in person, follow safety guidelines. You should do one or more of the following.
- Wear masks.
- If possible, socialize outdoors.
- Get tested for COVID-19 before the visit.
Exercise has been shown, in study after study, to ease depression and anxiety. Even going on a daily walk makes a big difference. Get at least a little exercise every day.
Unfortunately, scammers have adapted to COVID.
The pandemic has inspired scammers to lie about fake COVID relief checks, Social Security issues, health insurance, and more. Scammers have even lied about the vaccine. Some have sent messages offering early vaccination in exchange for payment.
When you receive communication about medical or financial issues, make sure it’s legitimate before moving forward.
Safety encompasses mental, physical, and financial health. Make a point to foster all three.
Though you can’t control the pandemic, you aren’t powerless. Caution is worthwhile — even when it’s tiresome.
Soon enough, COVID precautions will just be a memory. Until then, stay safe.