With the ever-changing landscape of the COVID-19 crisis, it can become increasingly difficult for seniors and their families to stay current on the best ways to keep themselves and their loved ones safe. Here are a few helpful guidelines from your friends at Dellwood Gardens to assist in maintaining the health and safety of older adults during this challenging time.
First Line of Defense: COVID Vaccines
Although it is a highly debated topic, most experts agree that the best way to head off a COVID-19 infection is by getting one of the three available vaccines. This is especially important for older Americans who may also struggle with other pre-existing conditions that make them more susceptible to an aggressive form of infection and could put them at higher risk for hospitalization or death.
These vaccines are readily available and typically do not cost the patient anything out of pocket. Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two shots over a period of three to four weeks, while the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is a one-dose shot. With each of these vaccines, the patient will be considered fully vaccinated two weeks after the final shot is given. Check with your doctor to see which of these vaccines are available in your area and to find out if they recommend one specific brand of vaccine over another for your particular health history.
Mask up When You Are on the Go
Studies have long shown that wearing a face mask can help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. This is especially important if you are unvaccinated or if you have other health issues that may put you at greater risk for sickness.
Wearing a well-fitted mask for indoor situations is especially helpful for reducing the risk for seniors. Although masking in some outdoor settings may not be necessary, if you are in a crowded location with many other people, you should still consider wearing your mask for added protection. Be sure to wear your mask properly, covering both your mouth and nose, for the maximum benefit.
Health and Hygiene 101
The COVID-19 pandemic has helped all of us bone up on basic hygiene practices, so keep up that good, clean work. Proper handwashing helps to cut germs overall and keeps those germs from spreading. Continue to regularly clean and sanitize surfaces such as doorknobs, handles, and any items that are touched by multiple people. And be sure to practice proper sneezing and coughing techniques, especially when unmasked, to help prevent the spread of particles that may carry the virus. These commonsense practices can make a big difference for seniors and those who may be more susceptible to this sickness.
For more information on living a happy and healthy life during the senior years, check out Dellwood Gardens Assisted Living and Memory Care’s website and blog to find out what we offer to enrich the lives of seniors in the Saint Paul area.