Staying Healthy During the COVID-19 Pandemic
With concerns about the coronavirus reaching new heights daily, it’s important to remember the basics of keeping well during this pandemic. While statistics and news reports continue to inform us of new cases, affected regions, and social restrictions, taking care of ourselves and our loved ones remains a top priority. Thankfully, while news may change by the hour, our approaches to staying safe remain pretty constant.
Caring for Yourself
If you are a senior living in a retirement community, there are simple precautions you can take to protect yourself from COVID-19. Keeping these recommendations in mind is especially important for adults over 65, who can be at higher-risk of COVID-19. Though no two seniors are the same, older age, naturally decreasing immunity, and underlying health conditions present special concerns for those infected with COVID-19.
Taking these precautions can help protect seniors and others from becoming ill with the coronavirus:
Taking the simplest of steps can have some of the greatest effects on your health and safety. You learned it as a kid: Wash your hands. It’s still true! Simple hand washing can prevent harmful viruses from entering our bodies. Wash your hands often, especially if you’ve been in a public space or have recently blown your nose, coughed, or sneezed.
Similarly, wiping down surfaces at home can protect you and others from harmful exposure. Clean frequently touched surfaces like doorknobs, faucet handles, and light switches as well as new items that enter your home, like groceries and food containers. Use a household cleaner appropriate for the surface. You can follow Instructions like these from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
What we avoid during a pandemic is just as important as what we do. Health care providers are stressing the importance of not touching your face, since the coronavirus enters the body through the eyes, nose, and mouth. In addition, avoid close contact with others. Stay out of group gatherings and remain at least six feet away from other people. Indiana’s governor has issued a stay-at-home order through most of April. Staying at home will help you avoid contact with others who may be infected with the virus and avoid touching contaminated surfaces in high-traffic areas in your community. Staying home will also protect others in the event that you are ill.
In addition to staying at home for the time being, continue to stay in touch with others. Find someone who can call and check in with you regularly. Have regular phone chats to catch up, share needs or concerns, as well as joys. In addition, visit with loved ones over the internet.
Stay in contact with your medical providers. Many doctors’ offices are communicating with patients and even conducting appointments over the phone, via “telehealth.” Be sure you’re still getting what you need by staying in touch with your doctor. If you become sick, reach out to your healthcare provider and alert residence staff as soon as possible.
Finally, stay stocked up on any medications or supplies you use regularly. Keep a store of everyday essentials in case of temporary shortages.
You are not alone. Even though our physical interactions with others are limited, you can still reach out to staff, caregivers, family, and friends. Make a phone call. Send an email or a text. Ask for help if you need it. Part of staying well is knowing that your needs can be met. Voice those needs, whether they be for an extra box of cereal, a bottle of hand sanitizer, or a friendly chat on the phone.
Don’t hesitate to ask for information from your retirement community’s staff and employees. Knowing how your community’s leaders are addressing the concerns presented by the coronavirus can give you peace of mind. Ask about what special measures and precautions your community is taking on behalf of residents, employees, and volunteers.
Additionally, you can access up-to-date information from these credible resources:
Indiana State Department of Health
US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The Cedars Retirement Community
The Cedars Retirement Community is a beautiful lakeside retirement residence located just outside of Fort Wayne, Indiana. The Cedars believes in providing the highest quality of life and opportunity for seniors. We are operating with great care during this pandemic and are following all guidelines issued by the CDC and ISDH. Please contact us with any questions you may have.