Stay Healthy With These Coronavirus Prevention Tips for Seniors

Stay Healthy With These Coronavirus Prevention Tips for Seniors

A senior citizen sits alone on her bed with a surgical mask and looks sadly and frightened out of the window and into the camera

Coronavirus has no doubt turned our world upside down and made us focus on prevention. Fear of contracting the virus has closed schools and businesses, and limited social interaction. While much about COVID-19 is still unknown, one thing is certain: it affects seniors with a greater voracity than their younger counterparts. 

Thankfully, Cumberland Village has not had any cases of COVID-19. However, family visitation and nonessential services from outside vendors have been restricted as precautionary measures. In addition, residents are encouraged to implement best health practices to reduce their risk of exposure and transmission. 

What You Can Do to Prevent the Spread of Coronavirus

According to the Centers for Disease Control, older adults are more likely to develop complications from COVID-19. Therefore, residents of our senior community should be especially diligent in the preventive strategies recommended by experts. The following tips can help reduce the risk of contracting the virus:

  • Practice good hygiene. Washing your hands is the most important step you can take for coronavirus protection. Use soap and water, and wash for at least 20 seconds. Be sure to wash in between the fingers and up to the wrists. This video from AARP can show you how to properly wash your hands. If you don’t have access to soap and water, use hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol. 
  • Stay home. Minimizing the time spent out in public greatly reduces your potential exposure. Stock up on groceries, medication, and other necessities to reduce the number of trips. Avoid any unnecessary errands. Consider paying bills online, shopping online, and refilling prescriptions through mail order. Also, postpone all nonessential medical and dental procedures.
  • Maintain distance. Federal guidelines advise people over the age of 65 to stay at home. But if you must go out, stay at least six feet away from other people, or about two arm lengths. Avoid crowded grocery stores and take advantage of special hours and services for seniors. For example, Sam’s Club offers early-morning shopping hours as well as concierge service for seniors, and Walmart opens its doors an hour early for shoppers over the age of 60.
  • Clean and disinfect. Keeping your home clean is also important to prevent contagion. Clean all hard surfaces with soap and water or commercial cleaner, especially those that are used frequently, including door knobs, light switches, handrails, remote controls, toilets, and faucets. Follow up by disinfecting those surfaces with household disinfectants, or make your own with a bleach solution using four teaspoons of bleach per quart of water. 
  • Cover your face. Because some people infected with COVID-19 are asymptomatic and considered to be silent spreaders, the CDC recommends that everyone wear a cloth face cover when outside the home and offers a tutorial for homemade face masks. Face coverings should fit snugly and include multiple layers of fabric. They should be laundered and machine dried after each use. 
Senior man shopping in a supermarket with a medical face mask

Although the coronavirus has upended our lives, the prevention strategies in place are slowing its spread. It’s also important to manage stress during uncertain times. By following the recommended guidelines on handwashing and social distancing, it is possible to reduce the risk of exposure—and the worries that go along with that—while staying healthy.

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