Seniors are at increased risk of complications due to COVID-19. As the risk dims for the rest of the world and we begin to open back up again, how can seniors remain safe? First, your local government and health department may have some suggestions to help seniors navigate these difficult times, so you may want to look up local guidelines first. Then, consider these general suggestions to keep yourself or your senior loved one safe during the post COVID-19 reopening.
Protect Yourself in Public
As restaurants, event venues and other public spaces open back up remember that these public spaces may not be safe for those at high-risk. Try to avoid large gatherings or any non-essential trips to public places. Of course, you will still need to go to certain places, and may even be willing to visit more than you did before. When you do, you should still take precautions to keep yourself safe:
- Wear a mask: Ideally an N95 mask, which offers the most protection. If you cannot get your hands on such a high-quality mask another kind may offer you some protection.
- Physical distance: Even if other people stop physical distancing, you could continue to stand six feet apart from them. If someone stands too close to you, just explain that you’re at high risk and would appreciate it if they would give you some more space.
- Wash your hands: When you return from your outing, take some time to wash your hands thoroughly, especially before you eat or touch your face.
Protect Yourself at Home
Now that people are allowed to gather in larger numbers, you may find yourself hosting family members and friends. Ideally, you’d keep contact with people to a minimum. When you do invite people over, ask them to self-monitor and reflect on their risk before they come. Have they had symptoms of COVID-19 recently, or have they been near someone who has? If so, you may want them to wait until you are sure they’re healthy before they come over.
When possible, you can also do your best to keep your friends and family members physically distant from you when they visit your home. Hanging out with them outside is a good idea, because it prevents them from potentially contaminating your home.
Weigh the Risk Before You Move
For anyone who has considered assisted living, the decision is complicated by COVID-19. Now is a good time to pause and consider other options, like home care. Home care agencies like New Century Home Care have well-trained staff who carefully follow COVID-19 protocol. All staff are equipped with personal protective equipment to ensure the safety of everyone. In many cases it’s much safer for your loved one to remain at home with regular home care than to take the risk of moving to assisted living. Talk to your home care provider about the precautions they’re taking to keep your loved one safe.
Post Covid-19 reopening and returning to normal life may be more challenging for the elderly, but there are things you can do to keep yourself and those you love safe as the rest of the world gets back to normal.