With a constant flow of “new” information being released almost hourly, it is common to feel scared and overwhelmed about everyday tasks. It can be difficult to know what is and is not safe, but it can be even more challenging to address how to get through day to day tasks that have been disrupted by COVID-19 – especially for the elderly.
We spoke with Dr. Robert Morris, Chief Medical Officer for Well-Advised, and 9Health Expert, Dr. Payal Kohli, on how people aged 65 and up, and really all of us, can get through this stressful time.
Below are some ways to stay safe and healthy while maintaining your life schedule:
Hand washing is a very easy, yet important way to keep yourself healthy and eliminate contamination, especially for people with hearing aids, contacts, and other health aids who are more prone to touching their face.
- Scrub thoroughly between fingers
- Wash under rings in order to keep them clean
- Soap and water is the best and most effective way to sanitize your hands
Remember, even if you are not leaving your home or coming in contact with outside bacteria, it is important to always practice good hygiene like washing your hands before eating or taking out contacts.
If possible, utilize online grocery shopping to minimize possible contamination. However, it is important to take special care when handling groceries in your own home.
- Put on clean, protective gloves (not knit or wool) to carry groceries to the front door of your home.
- Before bringing groceries inside, transfer them to a freshly sanitized bag
- Use sanitizing wipes to clean food containers and surfaces that do not directly touch food
- Wash vegetables and fruit in water, like usual
It is important to take care when handling grocery shopping and sanitizing. If you order groceries online, it is also smart to wipe down the back of your car before taking the groceries to your front door.
How to raise your immunity response
A normal, healthy diet and exercise is key to accumulating an active, healthy immunity response.
- Exercising daily, even just taking walks, helps boost your immunity
- Continue to eat fresh fruits and vegetables to improve your immune response
- Keep a healthy and regular sleep schedule
- Vitamins are very helpful to people who are vitamin deficient
What do I do if I have symptoms of the coronavirus?
The first thing to do if you believe you are experiencing symptoms of the coronavirus, COVID-19, is call your doctor. Symptoms include fever, dry cough and shortness of breath. If you do not have a doctor or health insurance, check out these free resources to help you.
- Well-Advised – offers free tools for determining what Medicare or health care plan is most suitable for you
- Connect for Health Colorado – browse various healthcare plans available for most Colorado residents. Visit before April 30th for special COVID-19 exemptions (lost your job, not having health insurance prior, etc)
It is still not recommended to travel outside of the state at these times, even if you are going to stay with family. There are too many possible risk factors involved with long-distance driving, and every single time you leave your home you are making yourself susceptible to the virus. If you can stay home, you are strongly advised to do so.
Common rumors and myths
COVID-19 is a manmade virus.
False. COVID_19 is a natural virus that originated from bats and was passed through other species.
Lemon juice is a cure-all.
False. While lemon juice is good for you and contains a lot of vitamins, it does not stop the virus.
Mosquitoes can carry COVID-19.
False. This disease is not transferred through the skin, and mosquitoes do not carry or transfer the virus.
Test your lungs by holding your breath for 10 seconds.
False. While it is awesome that you can do this without pain or pressure, it does not mean you are safe from COVID-19 nor does it serve as an accurate lung test.
Feeling isolated and alone is a normal feeling right now, but not something you have to face daily. Keeping in touch with people is easy and highly encouraged for elderly people. Use phones, tablets, and other devices to call, text or video chat friends and family.
If you have more questions that need to be answered, check out Well Advised and 9Health’s collaborative website specifically designed for the elder generation to get through COVID-19. Here you can find useful information regarding healthy everyday practices, tips for prevention, and plans of actions.
9Health is working closely with Well Advised – they offer tools to make Medicare and health care less confusing. Manage your care needs and health spending in one place, all for free. More information here: https://well-advised.com
This post was written by 9Healh volunteer, Madison Atwater