Older folks are often overlooked. It’s just the simple truth. But senior living can be just about as exciting and active as life for younger folks. In many, if not all senior living communities, different activities are offered for seniors to partake in. There’s also just as thriving of a social life as ever in senior housing and the relationships you can form there can be very valuable.
Things like this are important factors to consider when social distancing measures are in place due to COVID-19. So how can those in senior living communities stay healthy, both physically and mentally, during a time like this when they are among the highest at risk?
One of the best ways for those in senior or independent housing to stay safe and healthy is by wearing a mask, washing their hands, and avoiding public spaces like grocery stores or supermarkets. These are basic suggestions that everyone should do to keep themselves safe, but especially older folks with a higher risk. Relying on staff, family, or friends for necessities from the store like refill prescriptions or a favorite snack is the best bet for staying safe.
Since the virus affects your respiratory system, avoiding smoking would also likely help reduce at least a bit of risk. Other preventative suggestions like taking vitamins or different supplements to support your immune system would also be beneficial. Making sure you get enough sleep and are exercising are also both very basic but beneficial practices to get into.
More specifically though, participating in whatever programs are available in your senior living community may be the best way to keep your mental health in a good place. Doing yoga, practicing art or music, or learning something new are all great ways to keep your mind busy and working at its best.
A 2016 Pew Research poll found that almost 20% of senior citizens had not retired and were still working full-time jobs. Should this be the case for someone you know who lives in a senior living center whose job was not closed by the virus, the best way to keep them healthy would be to try and make them stay home! Interacting with multiple people throughout the day is the quickest way to find yourself sick, let alone for seniors already at higher risk. The best way to stay healthy is to stay home, wash your hands, and keep your mind busy.