The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our way of living for the near future. Without a vaccine, we will have to adjust to going out in public with personal protection, or PPE, and new social distancing protocols in restaurants and stores.
With the older adults and those with underlying conditions, it is integral to incorporate a healthy planned lifestyle for seniors into their everyday lives.
This can mean following all of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines and protocols, as well as strengthening one’s immune system by exercising, getting vitamin D and eating healthy.
With COVID-19 cases still on the rise in some states, it is more important than ever that seniors adhere to the CDC’s guidelines when they do leave the house.
Here is what the CDC recommends for everyone to do when they leave the house:
- Wash Your Hands- By simply washing your hands, you can save yourself from contracting COVID-19. Washing your hands with warm/hot water for 20 seconds and getting every inch of your hands, it will wash away dirt and bacteria that has gotten on them throughout the day. You should wash your hands after you cough, sneeze, blow your nose or go out in public. This simple, yet effective process can prevent you from getting the virus. If you don’t wash your hands after doing these and you touch your face, you run the risk of getting coronavirus. If you need to clean your hands right away, but are not near a sink, carry around 60% alcohol hand sanitizer so you can clean your hands wherever and whenever you need to.
- Avoid Close Contact With Others- This is important for seniors to follow as they are one of the high risk groups. Seniors should avoid being around people who are not in their immediate household. And if someone in their household has tested positive for coronavirus or is showing symptoms, they need to stay away from that person. And try to avoid going out as much as possible until there is an effective vaccine available. When leaving the house to go to the store, stay at least 6 feet away from people in the store.
- Wear a Face Mask- Do not leave the house without a face mask covering your nose and mouth. This will protect you from any droplets that may contain the virus and get into your mouth or nose.
- Wear Gloves- The virus can live on surfaces. When going out into public, wear gloves when touching doors, items, keypads, etc. Make sure you don’t touch your face with the gloves on. Immediately wash your hands, or use hand sanitizer, after taking them for extra precaution.
- Clean and Disinfect- Our everyday items can get filled with germs and bacteria. Clean and disinfect your phone, tablet, counters, door handles, toilets and anything else that is used daily.
Boost Your Immune System
Along with following the CDC’s guidelines, seniors should look into how they can boost their immune system so they stay strong and healthy during this pandemic.
Healthline.com gives nine great examples of how one can improve their immune system.
- Get enough sleep
- Incorporate more whole plant foods, such as fruits, vegetables and nuts, into your daily diet.
- Eat healthy fats like omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon.
- Take probiotic supplements.
- Limit your sugar intake as much as possible.
- Exercise moderately.
- Keep hydrated.
- Manage stress levels through meditation and other forms of relaxation.
- Use supplements wisely.
Although the COVID-19 pandemic is scary and uncertain, there are ways seniors can keep themselves safe. By practicing all of the CDC’s guidelines and doing various aspects to improve your immune system, your body should feel better and may be able to fight off the virus IF you do contract it.
About the Author
Melissa Andrews is the Content Marketing Strategist for Paradise Living Centers, an assisted living center for seniors with locations in Paradise Valley and Phoenix, Arizona. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking and going on hiking trips with her siblings and cousins.