Seniors and safety in uncertain times: 5 important tips

I’m sure everyone has heard many different things regarding Covid-19 so we wanted to make sure we posted some tips to help out. Remember, older bodies have to work harder to fight infection, so it’s important you or your loved one avoids people who are sick, washes hands frequently and uses wipes to clean surfaces other people might have touched. Overall, panic creates more problems than solutions so don’t be scared…Be Prepared!

1. Take Personal Preventive Measures First:

The most effective way to help seniors is to avoid exposure yourself. By following guidelines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), you are taking steps to not only keep yourself healthy, but are protecting others by reducing the spread of disease. Seniors benefit from individuals taking personal preventative measures first and foremost.

2. Get Help With Checking In:

With everything happening in the world today, we would encourage you to stay connected to friends and family as much as you can. It seems like the catchphrase recently is social distancing, but in order to reduce social isolation and loneliness, both of which have serious  health effects as well try to be with someone else. If you or someone you know doesn’t have anyone to rely on then feel free to reach out to us so we can help to provide a caregiver to look out for you or them. (Our contact info is at the bottom). Some questions you should ask are: Do you or your loved one have a device like Life Alert and is it kept on at all times? If not than you should make sure you get that setup asap. There are some devices that are offered free for vets such as MedEquip Alert (Their contact info is below)If possible, try to get your loved one to memorize the most important numbers and also put important numbers directly on their fridge. Another option that can help with checking in is learning the new technology, FaceTime, Zoom, Skype, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and lots more. All sorts of online options exist to talk with family and friends and you don’t have to be completely tech-savvy. Doing the basics is easy, and for most people, fun. If setting up an account is too daunting, ask a neighbor, niece or nephew for help and a quick tutorial or contact Wendy Weiss from TechTime (Info listed at bottom) who specializes in assisting seniors with setting up accounts and learning how to use different applications. a company called 

3. Make Sure You Stock Up If You Haven’t Already:

It’s a good idea to have foods (such as canned items) that don’t have to be refrigerated or cooked. Be smart, if everyone is rushing headfirst to big box stores than you should try going to smaller or more local places. Think outside the box, try going to dollar stores, they carry cans of chicken soup and have been getting consistent shipments. Have a good supply of bottled water, pasta, peanut butter & jelly as well as different canned foods and vegetables. Forget the toilet paper and go for the wet wipes, they’re easier to transport, they’re more effective and are still around in some places. Once the toilet paper hype settles down than make a purchase. If you or a loved one is unable to get out and get things than consider ordering groceries online, maybe asking a family member or friend for help with stocking up and you can always give us a call at SeniorCare Companions about hiring someone to help out. 

4. Keep Your Immune System Strong With Hydration & Nutrition:

As we age our sense of thirst diminishes and because of that many seniors do not stay well hydrated. The Cleveland Clinic warns that dehydration is an often overlooked health risk in the senior community. According to Mayo Clinic, a general rule of thumb is 3.7 liters of fluids for men and 2.7 liters for women. Harvard Medical school 

Following general good-health guidelines is the single best step you can take toward naturally keeping your immune system strong and healthy. Every part of your body, including your immune system, functions better when protected from environmental assaults and bolstered by healthy-living strategies such as these:

  • Don’t Smoke
  • Maintain a healthy diet, high in antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables, which is also critical for keeping defenses up according to Harvard Medical School.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. 
  • If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation.
  • Get adequate sleep.
  • Take steps to avoid infection such as washing your hands frequently and cooking meats thoroughly.
  • Try to minimize stress. (I understand that staying informed is important, but sometimes turning everything off is extremely helpful.) 

5. Maintain physical activity 

Instead of quarantining an elderly loved one to a room encourage them to remain physically active, outside if possible, maybe in the yard or going for a short walk. This will promote good circulation and encourage the body to clear mucus from the airways, lowering the probability of viruses sticking to the lungs, according to Harvard Medical School.

If everyone just becomes glued to their TV’s, waiting for something bad to happen than their not participating in daily life and psychologically, there is a great likelihood for older people to become depressed or anxious so remaining physically active also produces mental health dividends.  

Bonus: Have A Plan:

“Failing To Plan Is Planning To Fail” is a famous maxim that should be adhered to. Remember to put your important documents in a plastic bag and keep them in a fireproof and waterproof safe or box for easy grabbing. Remember to display important phone numbers and emergency contacts.

References: 

Seniors need attention and love during the holidays, just like everyone else. Unfortunately, some people forget to visit their loved ones during the busiest times of the year. 

Finding ways to take care of seniors during the holidays is extremely important. Doing so involves helping them with their physical, mental, and emotional needs. Let’s look into the ways you can take care of seniors during the holiday season.

Hire a Service

Some seniors might not be able to help themselves with different tasks such as:

  • Mobility to go places
  • Remembering important details and schedules
  • Assistance with motor skills

Whatever you may need, we here at Senior Care Companions can help. We offer various services to help seniors each day. You can find assistants to help them 24/7, or just a few hours of the day.

 

While you should help seniors when you can, you may need professional help. After all, you can’t be at their sides 24/7, so see if you can find a reliable service to look after them.

Plan Fun Activities

Seniors can face boredom during the holidays, especially if they don’t have people to spend time with them. Coming up with fun activities you can do with one another is important to their mental and emotional wellbeing. Potential activities include:

  • Sit down and play board games together
  • Enjoy holiday activities like eating or watching movies
  • Go for a walk through the park

Focus your attention on letting them have fun. Doing so can help you take care of them emotionally and mentally. For example, they could feel happy after the activities or thankful you thought of them.

Seniors can potentially become lonely and depressed during the holidays, so take the time to plan fun activities for them. Doing so can help them overcome the mundane and boring moments in their lives.

Prepare Them Ahead of Time

Some seniors may like to stick with their schedules. If you know seniors like this, you should prepare them before any activities. Some seniors may have health problems, so make sure you accommodate them. 

You can do this in multiple ways such as:

  • Ensure they have a way to safely reach the areas if they have to use wheelchairs
  • Give them specific food if they have dietary restrictions
  • Show them pictures of who they’ll see at the event if they suffer from memory loss

You don’t want to worry them, so make sure you take some time to talk and prepare. This can help them understand the plan and feel comfortable during the activity.

Visit Them Regularly

Often people forget to help seniors with their mental and emotional health during the holidays. If you want to help them during the holidays, just visiting them is an easy way to make their day.

Visiting seniors can help them out in many ways:

  • Allows them to talk with someone
  • Shows them others care about their well-being
  • Help them with tasks or anything else they need

When you visit a senior, you can help them feel happy. You can also help them avoid feelings of loneliness or boredom if they have to live away from home. Even if you have seniors in your life who live on their own, you should visit them during the holidays.

Seniors recognize the time you take to visit them, so they’ll appreciate your efforts.

Ask Them What They Want

Sometimes, people try to make decisions for seniors, so you should communicate when possible. If you communicate with them, you can avoid some problems.

  • Ensure they do something they like and avoid boredom
  • Meet their personal needs and keep them safe
  • Learn more about them and their interests

These points can help you find an activity that will make the seniors happy. You don’t want to drag them to an activity they don’t like, so you need to communicate with them. That way, you can find something you’ll both enjoy. 

 

Some people forget to remember each senior as a person. Make sure you show these seniors you care by asking them what they want. As you do so, you can form stronger relationships with them. 

Final Comments

The holidays give you a great opportunity to show your love to the seniors in your life. Whether you want to help relatives in your family or the local seniors, you can make the holidays better for them.

If you want to help these seniors out, try out the ideas above. If you need assistance in taking care of the seniors in your life, reach out to Senior Care Companions.

Have any Questions? Just give us a call, we would love to help in any way.

“Quality Care You Can Trust – Since 2004”

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