Even though some states have begun to loosen restrictions on social distancing, it’s still important for our older citizens to stay safe and healthy. As such, social distancing should still be practiced by our elderly population who is at an increased risk for suffering from coronavirus symptoms.
As of May 28, the COVID-19 death toll in the United States has officially surpassed 100,000. On this grim day, it’s more important than ever to remind our loved ones to take care of their health.
Here are some of the top ways that older folks can stay healthy during this unprecedented time:
Clean, clean, clean
Coronavirus is known to spread through the air, but it can also live on a number of surfaces for an extended period of time. Even if you have practiced safe social distancing measures, it’s still important to clean your home regularly. This is doubly important if you have been ordering groceries to your home or inviting over friends now that the weather has warmed.
A simple Clorox wipe or a mixture of soap and hot water can kill most of the germs that threaten your health. Wipe down doorknobs, chairs, and the handles of your refrigerator as a first measure against bacteria. You should also regularly clean any electronics that are handled by more than one person.
Additionally, it’s important to clean now that warmer months have finally arrived in New York state. Hotter temperatures mean that foods go bad more quickly, garbages stink a little more than usual, and humidity is clinging to every surface. Did you know that mold can develop in as little as 48 hours? If you’re not drying your floors and dishes properly, you might experience harmful mold growth. Be sure to use the fan in your bathroom whenever you shower and try to clean your toilet, sink, and tub more frequently to reduce the buildup of black mold.
The best part of cleaning is that it also gets your heart rate up. It’s a light form of exercise that can work wonders in terms of your health. Speaking of exercise…
Studies have shown that higher levels of physical activity are associated with stronger immune systems. Just like eating an apple can fuel your body with immune-boosting properties, so too can extending your walk by another half-mile or lifting some light weights before bed.
Living a more active lifestyle can also lower your risk for heart disease and a number of other chronic conditions that are common in the elderly population. While the threat of COVID-19 has kept us sheltered for most of the spring, the warmer weather in New York is encouraging countless people to practice safe social distancing when they go outside. Now is the perfect time to go for a walk on your favorite trail, go fishing by the lake, or explore a new park. Keep in mind that up to 87% of people experience painful foot pain at some point in their lives, so it’s important to wear the proper shoes when you go for a longer walk. Save the sandals for shorter jaunts around the block and relaxing on the porch.
Keep in mind that it might take a little while for the results of physical activity to pay off. Just like you can only expect to lose one or two pounds a week when you start working out, you won’t suddenly be immune to the common cold just because you took another walk. Think of physical activity as a long-term investment. It’s akin to how 84% of investors will seek out other opportunities if they have a good experience; it’s all through repetition and practice.
Reach out to loved ones
Staying social is a common issue among older folks, but it’s become particularly problematic during times of social distancing. If you don’t know how to use video chat, it’s almost impossible for older people to see their loved ones.
That’s why it’s essential that older people get the love and support they need. Even a simple phone call can turn a day riddled with anxiety into a fun evening full of laughter. Luckily, plenty of video calling apps have made their programs more user-friendly for older folks that might have trouble navigating them otherwise. If you happen to be the one teaching an older person how to use these apps, just be patient. The reward is worth it in the long-run.
Even sending a care package full of nonperishable foods and supplies can mean the world to someone who isn’t able to leave the house right now. Include fun notes, games, and inside jokes to make it feel like you’re together, even if you’re far apart. It will do wonders for mental health.
Living during the time of COVID-19 is hard, but it’s even harder for the elderly population struggling to stay healthy. Whether you’re helping your loved one or you’re an older citizen yourself, rely on these tips to help make a healthy difference.