April is Physical Wellness Month and, for some, that may seem like an ironic thing to celebrate. After all, currently the nation is grappling with the coronavirus, many states under lockdown. Seniors are at the highest risk of devastating consequences due to COVID-19, and for those at assisted living, it can cause fear and trepidation.
There are things seniors and their loved ones can do to help them stay safer and healthier during these trying times.
Respect the rules.
Local, state, and federal guidelines as well as rules and executive orders are constantly changing. In some states, like Connecticut, California, and New York, for example, most residents are ordered to remain home and practice social distancing.
Most assisted living communities across the country are also instituting their own set of rules to keep residents and staff safe. It is crucial that residents and family members respect those rules.
Some of them may seem draconian on the surface or family might not fully understand why they can’t visit with their aging parent or grandparent, but those rules are there to keep people safe.
Utilize technology when available.
Even if a senior at an assisted living facility does not have any experience with a smartphone or tablet, staff should be able to offer assistance to help them get started. Using these devices or even a laptop computer, they can communicate visually with family and friends.
Telecommunication services like Skype, FaceTime, and Zoom are all valuable assets that allow people to stay in touch with one another, see each other, and avoid the physical interaction that could transmit the coronavirus.
Use these technologies when you can instead of an in-person visit. This will keep your aging loved one as well as other residents of the facility a bit safer.
Seniors at assisted living should have an opportunity to get exercise when they feel like it. Some facilities will have an exercise room and though these may be closed at the moment because of fear of spreading the virus, there should be an opportunity to walk down the hall, up and down stairs, or perhaps along the grounds in a more isolated, rural environment.
If seniors are encouraged to stay active, it will help their body fight against any bacteria and germs it comes in contact with. It will also help them to stay strong for when these lockdowns lift and the nation finally emerges out of the worst of this COVID-19 crisis.
Avonlea Cottage of Dixon is licensed in the state of Illinois as a shared housing establishment. It is a private home-like environment for seniors suffering from memory loss issues. If you, or an aging loved-one, are considering elderly care in Tampico, IL, call us to get more information and schedule a tour. (815) 288-6044.