While the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic affects us all, special populations are at higher risk of contracting the virus and succumbing to it. Among them are seniors aged 60 and above. These people have age-related diseases that make them more vulnerable. Some of the comorbidities that can make them more prone to the virus are lung diseases, diabetes, cancer, hypertension, and heart disease. This age group is at higher risk for fatal illness from COVID-19, and we should guide them on how to prevent getting infected. If you are a senior, here are some health and wellness guidelines to keep you healthy during the pandemic.
Determine Your Risk
Not all aging people are sick, but they may have a weak immune system that struggles to combat the viral infection once it enters their body. Part of your protection against the COVID-19 virus is determining your health risk. Have your family medicine physician do a check if you haven’t had one recently. If you live in senior care, they need to conduct regular assessments of all residents to ensure that no one is carrying the virus, as living in a senior nursing home can be a risk in itself. According to the Tinker Law Firm, there have been instances wherein medical malpractice lawsuits were lodged against senior care homes as a result of widespread coronavirus infections.
Have a Hygiene Kit
Age can get the best of you, and if you are prone to constantly forgetting things, you have to make sure that you have a handy hygiene kit prepared at all times. Your kit should include a mask, alcohol, sanitary wipes, and hand soap. It should be placed in an area where you can easily access when you need them, particularly if you are aging in place. Part of protecting your health is being ready for anything.
If you can still do activities, make sure that you have at least 15 to 30 minutes of physical activity daily. Consult with your doctor regarding the exercises you can do, depending on your health status. Ideally, you can do leisurely walks or slow jogs within your neighborhood. If you have access to a swimming pool, you can do laps. Whenever doing these activities, note that you should never force yourself to do anything beyond your capabilities. Only do what you are prescribed to ensure that you protect your heart.
The threat of COVID-19 can be stressful. Many seniors may have friends or colleagues who have succumbed to the deadly virus. Adding in the loneliness when constantly staying at home, and it’s easy to see how people can get emotional during these uncertain times. For seniors, it does not help to stress over what’s going on in the world. Try to focus your attention away from the coronavirus. Instead, use this time to communicate with other people or learn a new skill that you’ve been meaning to master all these years. Stress can only make your heart weak, so it’s best to lessen it, if not eliminate it.
Eat the Right Food
Seniors are known to be picky when it comes to their food. Sometimes age has a way of changing your palate and taste for things. No matter what you may be craving, always keep in mind that you should have the right balance of fruits and vegetables in your meals. Eating the right food can do wonders for your body, not only your heart.
The threat of COVID-19 is still out there. Until doctors and researchers find a vaccine that can help stop the virus, it is best to focus on what we can do for our health. If you’re a senior living through these uncertain times, take heed of the tips above to keep your heart healthy.