How to Protect Elderly Family and Friends From COVID-19

While COVID-19 is not usually a serious illness for the young and healthy, it has proven to be extremely dangerous for the elderly. You might feel comfortable following the bare-minimum precautions, but the elderly have become very concerned for their wellbeing. If you have family and friends that are part of the older generation, there are several ways that you can help them through this hard time. Consider the following three tips for starters.

Practice Social Distancing

Social distancing yourself from the elderly is the best thing you can do for them. This will likely be very lonely for them so take time to call or video chat with them. This will help your elderly friends and family know that you care for them. It will lift their spirits and help them avoid becoming depressed. This positive attitude will be very important if they are going to maintain a healthy immune system. If you must visit them, you should avoid person-to-person contact, as this is what spreads respiratory illnesses like the coronavirus. If your elderly family member lives with you, then you should limit your interactions with others outside of your home as much as possible.

Do Their Shopping

Your elderly friends still need to eat. Unfortunately, going shopping carries a huge risk of being contaminated. You can help them do their shopping so they don’t have to go out. When you drop off the groceries, be sure to maintain social distancing. Just drop the groceries on the doorstep and ring the doorbell. Back at least 6-feet away while the groceries are collected. If you need to help bring the groceries inside ask that the elderly wait in another room while you put things away. Once you are finished, wipe down all the surfaces that you have touched.

Wash Your Hands

You should already be washing your hands, but if you’re helping the elderly you should redouble your efforts. Wash your hands thoroughly for at least 30-seconds with soap and hot water. This should be done before and after any interaction that you have with another person outside of your home. Even if you maintain a safe social distance, you should wash your hands after visiting a public place. You should also regularly wash the surfaces that you frequently touch around your home.

It can be easy to get lulled into a false sense of security and grow lax in keeping COVID-19 safety measures. It is imperative for the safety of your elderly family and friends that you remain vigilant. The spread of the disease may have slowed due to the shutdown, but it is still spreading. Don’t take the reopening of the economy as a time to relax; you should be even more careful.

Simon Greenberg

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