Advice for Senior Citizens During the Covid-19 Pandemic

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Older people are particularly vulnerable to the strange circumstances we are experiencing due to COVID-19. For that reason, Nomenial would like to provide some beneficial tips to follow in order to make these second wave months safer and, at the same time, more bearable. Here is some advice for older adults during the covid-19 pandemic:

Advice for the order adults during the covid-19 pandemic: Three tips in one

As the pandemic has progressed and the causes of infection have become clearer, medical experts have come to agree on three key measures that we all know about but which need to be repeated:

1. Continuous hand washing. Whether it is with soap and water or with disinfectant gel, we must make sure that our older adults wash their hands continuously. They should also avoid touching their faces when they are away from home.

2. Wearing a mask. Whenever they are in a public place, they should wear a mask that covers their nose and mouth. When we get home, it is important that we remove their mask carefully and then store it in a safe place.

There are (in some exceptional cases) reasons to exempt the use of the mask. For example, if the older adult in question suffers from respiratory problems that may be aggravated by the use of a mask or those who, due to their disability or dependency, present behavioural alterations that make its use impossible.

Two things should be taken into account if our loved one is among those exempted from wearing a mask. They must be certified by a medical professional, and they must limit their outings. Without a mask, they are more exposed to the virus.

3. Social distancing. COVID-19 spreads mainly among people who have been in close contact for a long period of time. For this reason, it is vital that our older adults maintain a safe distance of at least 1.5 metres from other people in the same space.

The family itself: the greatest protection

Not only is it important that we take care of our own health. However, It is above all important that we take care of the health of older adult loved ones too. After months in which we have witnessed the fatal consequences of the virus on older people, we must not and cannot afford to be the ones to blame.

Thus, if our older adults live with us at home or we visit them regularly, we must be careful with the activities we carry out. For example, we cannot go to dinner with a group of friends if we are going to be near our older adult relatives later on.

This type of preventive behaviour should be carried out by the family and anyone who is in contact with our older loved ones. This is the case with a home carer too.

Organising outings

It is important to avoid those places which are the most crowded. A very simple way to avoid times when most people pass through a point is to plan outings in advance. For example, we can spend time scoping out an area at the time of day that we plan our outing. This is in order to see that it does not pose any risk to our loved ones.

New forms of entertainment

Unfortunately, social distancing measures may limit some outdoor activities. For that reason, we propose new forms of entertainment at home. We are especially fond of these three:

1. Music therapy. The use of music for therapeutic purposes. When we listen to music, we can experience very different sensations and feelings. In the case of older people, something very valuable: memories. A morning of music therapy will transport them back in time and encourage communication. It will also help calm anxiety and provide happiness that will last the rest of the day.

If the older adult loved one suffers from Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s, this type of activity can cause major physical, cognitive, and social interaction effects.

2. Watching a film together. This can be a once per week family activity where everybody sits down together as a group and enjoys a film together. A new film can be an exciting and interesting thing to talk about together afterward. An old film can have great nostalgia value, similar to the music therapy mentioned above. Either way, this activity is guaranteed to put a smile on our loved one’s faces.

3. Laughter therapy. ..Smiles can even be turned into laughter. Laughter releases endorphins and taking a few minute to deliberately laugh every day has been scientifically proven to reduce depression.

Learning what our older adults know

We can teach our older adults, as in the case of technology, some things. But they can certainly teach us many more.

It is the perfect time for them to show us what they have always been good at, such as sewing a scarf with our name embroidered on it or making craft objects. These kinds of activities can help an older adults family member to feel recognised and proud that whoever takes care of them wants to learn from them.

A final piece of advice for the older adult during the covid-19 pandemic: socialisation and communication

Social relationships are part of the innate nature of humans. Our older adults need to socialise in order to feel emotionally well. It has been proven that isolation worsens quality of life and life expectancy. Therefore, we must seek ways to get our loved one to interact with the people he or she loves. Hiring a carer can also allow older adults to socialize, and feel taken care of.

Above all, there is one piece of advice for older adults during the covid-19 pandemic that is extremely important: to explain to our older adults’ loved ones that this is a temporary situation.

We cannot allow any of our older adults to be saddened, and we must let them know how proud the whole of society is of them.