Follow the Rules: Older Adults Dealing With COVID-19
According to the CDC, adults 65 years and older are at higher risk for severe illness. COVID-19 is a new disease and one that be even more dangerous to the elderly. Along with their vulnerability to the virus, many older adults avoid following directions because they do not want to pay attention to them or do not understand why they have to follow them. They may also be confused as to what is going on and fully comprehend the severity of the situation.
Here are 8 tips to help the elderly get through this difficult time:
- If you are a caregiver, stay in regular contact with your loved one to make sure they are ok, and if they need food or medications, arrange to pick them up for them.
- Read a book. It’s a great way to pass the time.
- Limit watching the news, as that can cause anxiety and stress. Instead, watch a comedy show or a favorite movie.
- Call a friend or relative and see how they are doing. They will be happy to hear your voice too!
- Get exercise if you are able. Do some stretching or walk around the block if you are able to go outside.
- Follow sanitary precautions like washing hands regularly, wiping down surfaces, sneeze into your elbow, and do not share cups, dishware and utensils.
- Practice physical distancing if you must go out.
- If you have doctor’s appointments, call beforehand to make sure the office is open during this time.
For some senior adults, restrictions on leaving the house with regard to COVID-19 can cause frustration and a temptation to rebuke safety guidelines.
Below are 4 approaches to encourage senior family members to adjust to this new normal:
- If open to the idea, send an article (from a source they trust) for them to read about COVID-19. It may give them some insight into this pandemic.
- Instead of telling them what they CAN’T do, suggest some things that they CAN do while quarantining, such as reading, cooking, watching a good movie, or chatting on the phone.
- Explain how disregarding guidelines can be hurtful to others, like their neighbors or a relative. Many times, they are just thinking of themselves and not how something affects individuals around them.
- Be nice. How you approach the topic can make a big difference. If you speak out of kindness, rather than yelling at them or being abrasive, you have a better chance of motivating them to care about what you have to say.
If you think an elderly individual has been exposed to COVID-19 and develops a fever and symptoms, such as cough or difficulty breathing, call their healthcare provider for medical advice. Here is an informational video from the CDC about COVID-19 and the elderly. Remember, the elderly is one of the most at-risk populations for this virus. Let’s make sure they stay well.
If you or your loved one need more assistance, our clinicians are available to help during this uncertain time via our telehealth services. Call our main number at 844-4-ACENDA (844-422-3632) for more information.