As a senior citizen, it's always important to focus on your physical and psychological well-being. In light of the coronavirus pandemic, focusing on taking care of yourself is even more critical now than it is during ordinary circumstances. It's important to heed all warnings from healthcare experts such as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO), and keep up with rapidly changing warnings and recommendation. As this rapidly evolving situation unfolds, it's only natural to seek advice on information and activities appropriate for these trying times.
It's important to maintain a proper diet while also staying hydrated. Keep up with a regular meal schedule and drink plenty of water throughout the day to help yourself stay healthy.
- Keep your refrigerator, freezer, and pantry stocked with staple items so you'll have what you need on hand to prepare healthy meals.
- If your pantry is low, order from a delivery service or ask a friend or family member in a low-risk group to shop for you. Have them leave items outside your door rather than coming inside with them.
- In addition to food items, make sure you have (and use!) a good supply of vitamins, prescription medications, and cleaning/sanitizing products.
- Prepare some of your favorite dishes in larger quantities than usual so that you'll have heat-and-eat-meals on hand.
- Consider registering for a Meals-on-Wheels food delivery service if one is operating in your area.
- Call local restaurants to find out which ones are offering delivery service at this time in case you need to have meals delivered.
Maintain Human Connections
While it's important to limit your exposure to other people during this time, as even people who have no symptoms of Covid-19 could potentially be contagious, that doesn't mean that you have to completely isolate yourself from communicating with others.
- While phone calls conversations aren't the same as face-to-face visits, your telephone can be a lifeline to the outside world during times of social distancing.
- Make a list of people you've been "meaning to call" and reach out to them via telephone. Make it a goal to speak with one or two friends or family members every day.
- Consider multi-person phone calls or text message conversations with groups of friends, family members, or work colleagues as a way of maintaining small group communication.
- Consider participating in a virtual chat room book club or host book club discussions via telephone or joining an online senior community.
- If you have grandchildren who are out of school, offer to host phone-based storytelling sessions or history lessons with them.
- Consider scheduling an online therapy session with a mental health professional if you need help to cope with all that is going on.
Engage in a Variety of Activities
Don't let yourself become sedentary during this difficult time. Instead, keep your mind active and your body moving.
- Engage in regular exercise appropriate for your physical condition. Whether you opt for stretching, yoga, cardio, or another form of exercise, your goal should be to maintain or improve your physical well-being.
- Look for online games that you can play on your own or with others (remotely). There are many options, from word games to murder mystery games and more. Games can be great stress relievers.
- If you have boxes or drawers with loose family photos, this could be a great time to get them organized. You may even want to create a new scrapbook or update an existing one.
- Catch up on your reading, put together a puzzle, or engage in other hobbies (such as crocheting, knitting, sewing, genealogy research, etc.)
Weathering the Crisis
These are just a few suggestions of activities that seniors may want to consider during these difficult times, as well as advice on staying active and connected even as social distancing impacts every aspect of daily life. Take care of yourself and encourage those you love to do the same!