As the COVID-19 pandemic rages on, more emphasis than ever is put on protecting older people’s health and wellness. Even in the absence of a health crisis, it’s vital to ensure that the elderly in your life are being cared for properly. Here are five key ways that you can help to promote health and wellness for your older loved ones.
Stay Away (Or Take Precautions)
As much as you love your grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, and cousins, staying away is vital to their health and wellness. You’re exposed to different people and environments, which increases your risk of contracting COVID-19. Visiting seniors, even for a few moments, puts them in danger. So, the best thing you can do is limit your in-person visits.
If you’re the caretaker for an aging loved one, or there’s a reason you need to be in their presence, take precautions. Wear a face mask and gloves, practice social distancing, wash your hands regularly, and limit the time you’re there. If, for any reason, you’re not feeling well, postpone your visit or ask someone else to go in your place.
Encourage Social Interaction
It becomes more challenging for people to engage in healthy social interactions as they age. Limited mobility and health issues may often make it challenging to keep up with a social calendar. However, research suggests seniors need adequate social interaction to lead a healthy and fulfilling life. It’s easy for seniors to feel isolated and lonely if the proper steps are not taken to boost social interaction opportunities.
Even if your favorite senior is homebound, you can encourage social interaction through the use of electronics and other mediums. They can send emails, post on social media, or join a video chat session. If your senior it’s tech-savvy, you can assist them by setting up and managing their accounts. You’ll also want to ensure they have the necessary resources like a computer, digital camera, and a good internet connection.
Use a Medical Alert System
Emerging technologies have made it easier than ever to keep social interaction opportunities. Mobilehelp is an invaluable product for every senior citizen. The best medical alert systems for 2020 and 2021 provide peace of mind that your loved one will be able to receive medical attention in any situation. Everyone will sleep better at night, knowing that seniors will not be left alone in their time of need.
There are several types of medical alter systems. The one you choose will depend on the needs of your aging loved one and your budget. First is a fall detection system. These devices can detect if you’ve fallen and are unable to press the button. Second is a mobile alert system. These systems are connected to a mobile phone and include features like a GPS tracking system, fall detection, and built-in mobile service. Last is a home-based alert system. It consists of a base, two-way speaker, and necklace (with a button). If your loved one needs help, they simply press the button and talk to an operator that will assist them.
Promote Safe Exercise Activities
One of the best ways to age gracefully is to keep up with a solid exercise routine. There are several ways that you can promote safe exercise activities for seniors. A group exercise class designed for the elderly is a great way to support physical activity while also providing much-needed social interaction. Walking, yoga, pilates, and strength training are all excellent choices for this age group.
During the pandemic, senior citizens must be careful when exercising. Being exposed to too many people puts them at risk. Therefore, they should complete workouts at home, in their backyard, or outdoors. They can enroll in a virtual fitness class, watch workout videos, or head to a local park.
There is no getting around the fact that you cannot take a shortcut when eating a nutritious diet. If your loved one wants to remain healthy, they must be diligent about eating the right foods. You can support them in this endeavor by shopping for groceries or providing them with healthy meal ideas. There is no substitute for a proper diet if health and wellness are your ultimate goals. If your senior is having a hard time affording food, there are programs like Meals on Wheels and Feeding America that provide free food and groceries.
Ensure Proper Medical Care
As your loved one ages, it may become difficult for them to keep up with all of their increasing medical appointments. You can help them by confirming that they are staying on top of all their scheduling and getting to their appointments as needed. Maybe this means that you help them with their calendar? Or perhaps you want to accompany them to their most important appointments? Being involved in this aspect of their life will ensure that no medical treatments and consultations fall through the cracks.
Again, safeguarding the elderly from the pandemic means taking precautions. Instead of visiting the doctor in-person, find out if your senior can have a virtual appointment. Telehealth services allow patients to receive primary care at home. If it is determined they need an in-person meeting, ensure that they wear a face mask and practice social distancing.
Simplify Their Lives
There are a lot of things seniors can’t do for themselves while sheltering in place. Things like going to the grocery store or bank only put them in danger. You can protect their health and wellness by simplifying their lives. By scheduling grocery orders to be delivered to their house and setting up an online banking account reduces their need to travel and keeps them safe.
Seniors are vulnerable during the coronavirus pandemic. As such, it is imperative for those that love them to invest in their care. Following these five tips will go a long way in helping elderly loved ones enjoy the best years of their lives with optimal health and wellness – during the pandemic and beyond.