We are nowhere near the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, but life is slowly going back to normal, well, a new normal at least.
As we gradually go back into our day-to-day lives, it is important to incorporate a healthy daily routine for seniors, along with extra safety precautions.
The New Normal
Most stay-at-home orders have been lifted and people are starting to go back to work and their daily lives.
However, even though businesses and stores are beginning to re-open and adhere to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) safety guidelines for COVID-19, seniors are still at risk when going out into public.
Restaurants and shops are incorporating social distancing tactics into their stores and trying to limit the amount of people in an enclosed space at once. If you’ve noticed as well, at grocery stores, many have adding arrows of which way to go through the aisle and where to stand when waiting in line. A lot of stores are also using covers on keypads and cleaning the keypads once every customer has finished payment.
The CDC also recommends staying six-feet away from people in public and wearing a face mask to avoid spreading or contracting the virus.
Although these extra precautions are intended to stop the spread of coronavirus, numbers are still increasing as people are not following the recommended precautions. This puts people with underlying conditions, especially older adults like seniors, at risk of contracting the virus and its deadlier symptoms.
How Does The Virus Spread?
The first thing you should know is simply how the virus spreads. The CDC notes that the virus is mostly spread from person-to-person. If you are within six feet of someone infected with the virus, you can easily obtain the virus.
If someone has the virus and coughs, sneezes or simply talks and droplets get in your mouth or nose or breath them into your lungs, you can contract COVID-19.
And arguably the scariest part of it all, is that someone can show no symptoms and still infect others.
People aren’t the only ones that can spread the virus. If someone with the virus leaves a droplet on surfaces, one can possibly contract the virus by touching the surface and then touching your nose, mouth or eyes.
It is especially important for seniors to know how the virus spreads so they can be aware of how they may contract it and avoid it at all costs.
How To Stay Safe?
The CDC has a list of recommended safety precautions one should take when out in public or around people. This is integral for seniors as they are part of the high risk group that may get the harsher effects of the virus.
- Wash Your Hands- This simple, yet effective process can prevent you from getting the virus. But, you have to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds so you get all the germs and bacteria off your hands. Wash your hands after any time you couch, sneeze, blow your nose or have just been in a public place. If you do not have hand soap or a sink readily available, you can use hand sanitizer that has at least 60% alcohol to kill the germs on your hands.
- Refrain From Close Contact With Others- If you know someone who is sick with the virus, is showing symptoms of the virus or has been in contact with someone with the virus, stay away from then- even if they are in your home. Stay at least 6-feet-apart from people, especially when you have to go out in public. Follow the guidelines and protocols that each business has in place when you do have to venture out. Also don’t gather in large groups or go to mass gatherings as the virus can spread quickly there.
- Wear A Face Mask- Ever since the outbreak of COVID-19, face masks has become an essential part of protecting oneself. When you are out in public, make sure you are wearing a face mask that covers your mouth and nose at all times.
- Wear Gloves- If you want to take extra precautions, wear gloves in public so you can avoid touching your face after touching keypads or items that may have the virus on them.
- Clean And Disinfect- Make sure you clean and disinfect everyday items such as your phone, toilet, countertops, laptops etc.
It is highly advised that seniors follow all CDC protocols when going out into public. We know you eventually will have to go to the store to get food and other necessities, just make sure you have hand sanitizer on hand and a face mask to protect yourself.
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.