During this pandemic crisis, senior citizens are the most at risk for infection. While visitors are currently restricted from entering nursing homes and assisted living facilities to protect this vulnerable part of our population, not all seniors are able to be isolated in this way. If you know any seniors that need assistance during this unforgiving crisis, here are 5 safety measures to practice to help keep them safe:
1. Conduct visits utilizing technology such as facetime, zoom or a phone call rather than potentially exposing your loved one to the virus with an in-person visit. "If you bring them supplies or food, leave it for them outside their front door. It is paramount for seniors to stay away from anyone showing signs of illness and to maintain appropriate social distancing." explained Pam Thompson, Infection Preventionist with Newton Village.
2. If you must have contact, wear a mask. "Both parties should wear a mask," added Thompson. "It's important to provide what the senior needs so they don't have to visit any stores, but since you will be coming from a store, wearing a mask helps to protect you both."
3. Encourage the seniors in your life to wash their hands frequently and to avoid touching their face. Help them clean often-touched surfaces in their home, while maintaining social distancing and wearing a mask if amongst others.
4. Encourage seniors to find ways to keep moving if he/she isn’t getting regular exercise. "Watch to make sure their balance, safety, and endurance aren't compromised. Chair exercises can help maintain muscle tone and strength." said Thompson.
5. Keep in constant contact with your elderly loved ones, and watch for signs of depression. "Speak with them on the phone, via the computer, or even from their sidewalk," said Thompson. "People who are depressed may not eat enough. Have them drink a lot of fluids, take a multi-vitamin, and consume nutritional drinks. Maintain contact to ensure everyone is doing okay."
For more information, please contact:
110 N. 5th Avenue W
Newton, Iowa 50208