Now that the Covid-19 vaccine has begun rolling out and numerous seniors and healthcare professionals have been vaccinated, it’s time to consider how to go about staying healthy through the re-opening process. Of course, many people are excited about being able to visit family, go to the beauty salon or even just to eat at a restaurant.
Of course, with a higher risk of Covid-19 related complications, some seniors are still quite concerned about their health and “going back to normal life”. Instead of thinking of it as ”going back”, we should all consider it as “moving into the new normal”.
Strategies to stay healthy during the Covid-19 reopening that seniors and caregivers should bear in mind
Continue to use drive-thru, takeout, and online services as much as possible. These services often provide important goods (such as medications or groceries) and yet you may not be able to ‘risk assess’ all the people with whom you come into contact. If you prefer to shop in person, do so during off hours, when the store is less populated. It’s all about continuing to reduce the risk as often as possible.
Think about slowly growing your personal “quarantine bubble”. As difficult as it has been to miss seeing people we love in person, it’s now exciting to think about everyone you can visit with or have over to the house. As tempting as it is, it’s still wise to consider who you let into this bubble carefully.
- Has the person had Covid-19 exposure in the last weeks?
- Do they work in a public place where they have a high risk of having been exposed?
If they have been carefully and successfully quarantining this year and have little risk of exposure, they are better candidates to be added to your new quarantine. Keep in mind that every time you visit with someone, you should be assessing the risk of exposure they bring into your life.
Have health safety rules at home. If you will be adding visitors to your environment, for your wellbeing, consider having a set standard of rules that all visitors must follow. If weather permits, have visits outside, rather than inside. If new people will be inside the home, have them wear masks, wash hands, and continue to social distance.
Stay up-to-date on the health news for the region in which you live. Your state department is a great source of information as well as the CDC. Basic guidelines may continue to be mask wearing, hand washing and social distancing, but the CDC website has all the information you need to stay up-to-date.
Follow your instincts about staying safe. If you feel better wearing a mask, even once you’re vaccinated, do so. Social distancing and mask wearing might be something that we’re going to continue to do far into the future.
We all want to stay healthy and keep ourselves and our families Covid-19 free, when possible. As we start the process of recovery and reopening, continuing to mitigate your risks, make smart and healthy choices, and assess each situation as it comes is still necessary. Of course, seek help from a medical professional if you have in depth questions about which activities are safe, or your specific health.
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