Healthy Practices for Senior Citizens during the COVID-19 Pandemic
This lockdown can be stressful and it is important to take part in practices which calm you down and make sure that you stay safe from the virus.
How to Stay Safe?
Older adults are at a significantly higher risk because of COVID-19 and need to follow strict prevention guidelines.
- Stay at home and avoid all meetings. If a meeting is essential, maintain a minimum distance of 1-2 metre. Use a mask in the meeting and insist that all present all wear masks.
- Wash hands at regular intervals with soap and water for 20 seconds.
- Sneeze and cough into your elbows or into a tissue, which should be disposed off immediately.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.
Take these additional steps for better well-being:
- Monitoring your health. If you cough, develop a fever, and/or have difficulty breathing, immediately contact your nearest health care facility and follow their advice.
- Postpone your elective surgery (if any) like cataract surgery or total knee replacement.
- Contact your doctor on the telephone first and do not go to the hospital unless encouraged by your doctor.
How to Spend Time During the Lockdown?
Maintaining good mental health is winning half of the battle.
- Spend Quality Time with your Family
With the schools postponed and the adults working from home, now is the best time to get involved in family discussions and activities. Make sure you also keep in contact with the family you are not in physical touch with over the phone.
- Make Time for Exercise
Simple stretching exercise and simple yoga postures are excellent exercises. Make sure you do not strain yourself and use a chair, etc., for support and do not do any exercises discouraged by your doctor.
Walking indoors and meditation are two activities which are very healthy and also very enjoyable.
- Cut Down on Listening to the News
With a constant coverage on COVID-19 washing over the television, it can become stressful to allow yourself to be caught up in this stream.
To follow the news, allot a limited amount of your time to follow trusted sources only, which present scientific & verified news in a calm manner.
- Artistic Pursuits With the Family
Drawing and engaging in craft activities with members of your family can be very fulfilling. You can also get creative in your storytelling and try to use stick image storytelling or drawing as a means of storytelling for young children.
Keep Track of your Diet
Good health and nutrition go hand-in-hand and, in this time, it can be beneficial to select foods which boost your immunity.
- Stay Hydrated
Drink 8-9 glasses of water per day. This will keep your mucous membranes moist and lower the chances of cold or flu.
Soups, coconut water, green tea and fresh juices are excellent hydration options when you don’t feel particularly thirsty.
- Make Sure You Get Enough Vitamins
Having a sufficient amount of vitamins in your body will keep your immunity strong.
Vitamin E can be found in soaked almonds, peanut butter, sunflower seeds and hazel nuts.
Make sure you get some sunlight everyday for Vitamin D. Yogurt is also a good source for it.
Fruits like orange, kiwi, lemon, guava, and grapefruit are rich sources of Vitamin C.
Also include nuts, berries, and superfoods like broccoli and mushrooms in your diet to boost your immunity!
It is possible to transform this period of lockdown from a stressful one to one filled with positivity and health and one which allows spending quality time with your family!
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information.
- Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences), ‘Taking care of Mental Health of elderly during COVID-19’, PDF on official website (accessed on 11th May, 2020)
- Association of Senior Living India, ‘How to make most of #Lockdown Time’, official website (accessed on 11th May, 2020)