In the days and weeks following the Cavid-19’s nurturing its ugly head, life has changed and changed again, and only for good measure, once more. As a result, everyone is struggling with extra stress, but the elderly population and people with compromised immune systems are particularly hard hit.
As infection rates fluctuate across the United States, including Utah, seniors will want to know what they can do to stay healthy and connected to their families at the same time. Here are some ideas to get you started.
The best thing you can do for your health and your mood is to stay active. Fresh air is good for body and mind as long as you keep a 6 foot radius of social distance from other park-gear and power-walkers.
Not COVID-19 or any COVID-19, the American Academy of Family Physicians recommends that seniors “get at least 2.5 hours of moderate aerobic exercise (such as brisk walking) every week.” On most days of the week it takes about 30 minutes on average.
While gyms and other recreation centers may be considered closed or unsafe for the elderly, it is important to continue. You can walk around the local park, look for workouts on YouTube that require very little or no equipment, or play some tunes of your choice and dance for a while.
Social distance may mean staying away from loved ones for a while longer, but it doesn’t mean severing all ties with people outside your home. Everyone has a way to stay connected with social media and video streaming tools like Facebook, Instagram, FaceTime, Marco Polo, Snapchat and Zoom.
With a smart device, a video streaming app and some skill, people can celebrate birthdays, play card games, share successes, sing songs and even hold family church meetings together.
With people more concerned than ever before about the public and physicians’ offices, many local healthcare providers now provide telehealth services. You can stay in touch with your healthcare provider, talk to a nurse and order a prescription from the comfort of your own home.
CDC lists other benefits of telehealth services now available from many providers including
- Coaching and support for chronic health patients
- Weight management and nutrition advice
- Hybrid (remote and face-to-face) approach to physical and occupational therapy
- Monitoring of blood pressure, blood glucose etc.
- Non-emergent care of residents in the benefits of long-term care
- Case management in rural patients
These services are now available remotely, enabling seniors to get the full complement of healthcare offers with less trips to the hospital or doctor’s office.
Better safe than sorry without a clear idea of how masks work, especially seniors whose health can be more easily compromised by the Covid-19 infection.
Wearing your mask has been shown to reduce the chances of your COVID-19 or any other contagious illness spreading through coughing, sneezing or talking. Where there is less community spread, you, your healthcare provider and your family members can discuss the possibility of meeting in person with friends or family members. Face masks can facilitate such combinations.
If you don’t have one or don’t want to help others who don’t have one, consider making masks for yourself and the community. With fabric pickup or delivery options at local craft stores, you can get all the supplies you need without contact.
Being frustrated or frustrated is common in such difficult times. The trick is to find ways to maintain your mental health even in this kind of test. It starts with taking care of basic physical needs like getting enough sleep, eating nutritious food and staying active.
The Mayo Clinic lists other steps you can take to maintain or improve your mental health:
- Keep up your regular routine
- Spend your time watching or reading the news
- Stay busy
- Have an attitude of gratitude
- Focus on the things you can change and not on the things you can’t
As one anonymous writer puts it, “Concerns are time consuming. It does not change anything. It all steals your joy and keeps you busy. “” Try to hold on to this thought when the stress of the world is crowded and make a conscious effort to divert attention from the things that are under your control.
In legacy retired communities, residents are encouraged to keep in touch with loved ones while maintaining their own health and to participate in appropriate entertainment programs. For more information about Legacy Retired Communities, visit LegacyTree.com.