With the spread of coronavirus COVID-19, Conway Medical Center encourages all seniors to take the necessary steps to protect themselves from this virus. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, older adults, ages 65 and older, are at higher risk for severe illness. Having an underlying medical condition, like high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease or lung disease, also raises your risk.
When it comes to social distancing for seniors and those with underlying health conditions, stay home if at all possible. If you must go to the grocery store or pharmacy, look for one that offers special hours for seniors, and avoid close contact, stay about six feet away from others. Wash your hands often for at least 20 seconds, and if that is not possible, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol in it.
“People need to practice good social distancing in order to decrease the risk of spreading COVID-19 from person to person. Hand washing and social distancing are probably the two most important weapons that we have to fight this virus,” said Dr. Paul Richardson, CMC Chief Medical Officer.
Fear and anxiety about COVID-19 can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions for older people. Stress can lower your immunity, so support yourself. Take breaks from watching, reading or listening to news stories and social media, because hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting. Take care of your body by taking deep breaths, stretching, or meditating and try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep, and avoid alcohol and drugs. Take time to unwind; try to do activities you enjoy and connect with others by talking with them about your feelings, but remember in doing so to practice social distancing. The telephone and internet are great ways to reach out to others while we stay at home.