COVID-19 has hit this country like a firestorm with almost continuous news coverage of the pandemic berating us. From the beginning, we were warned that the most susceptible people to the virus are the elderly and those who are immune suppressed. But the fact that there are people who are positive for the virus without showing symptoms has led many people to stay completely isolated in their homes.
Here are a few tips for seniors who are self-isolating or under quarantine:
- Know the terms—Unfortunately, there’s a lot of information out there right now and it can be confusing to many. According to the CDC, “isolation” involves placing someone who is sick (i.e. positive for COVID-19) away from those who are not sick. “Quarantine” involves those who have been exposed and who MAY be infected and is the restriction of their movements to prevent infection of others.
- Stay inside—The first thing that has to be stressed is that you must stay inside and not go out in public. This means you should have everything delivered to you, either by a friend, family member, or a delivery service. Additionally, you should have all of these deliveries sent to your doorstep. Do not greet the delivery person, shake their hand, or thank them. If you need to tip them, place the cash in an envelope and place this where you are having them drop off your items.
- Masks, gloves, sanitizer, and social distancing—If you do have to leave home, such as for a medical emergency, be sure to use a mask and latex gloves to protect yourself. Also, scrub well with hand sanitizer after coming in contact with surfaces with your bare hands. Finally, be sure to maintain social distance protocols by staying at least 6 feet from other people at all times.
- Combating cabin fever—The downside of isolation is that you may feel depressed and cut off from all of your friends and family. With technology, however, it is easier to combat this. Stay active on social media and give updates to your friends and family about how you are doing. If you have children (or grandchildren), then set up Skype calls or Facetime with them so that you can actually see the people you are talking to.
- Stay active—Another thing you should do is to stay as active as possible in your home. Like calisthenics or workouts inside are ok. Also, art projects such as painting, crocheting, or knitting are a great way to keep the mind and body active. Jigsaw puzzles, crosswords, and sudoku also help with this. And, if nothing else, this is the perfect time to read all those books you said you wanted to check out.
COVID-19 is nothing to take lightly. It has infected, as of this writing, over a million people worldwide and killed over 65,000. Although we don’t know everything there is to know about this disease, we do understand that the elderly are a severely at-risk population. Therefore, it is important for those who are self-isolating or quarantining to follow the proper guidelines to protect themselves and others.