As an elder focus on staying safe by avoiding making these mistakes

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All of us living through these times are waiting for this crisis to end. We may not have any control over that but what we can do is be most careful while going through this phase so that we find ourselves hale and hearty to enjoy the post crisis life ahead of us. Its important to realise that you cannot take it easy as far as safety is concerned. That’s why the following article is a useful reminder of all the things that we shouldn’t be doing in these times. It may all look familiar but all the same a reminder is well worth it. Team RetyrSmart

As an elder focus on staying safe by avoiding making these mistakes

Mistakes to avoid as you focus on staying safe

Attending Gatherings

Experts are advising that older people avoid all unnecessary gatherings and events. Yes, you’re going to miss family milestones, Spring fairs, dinners parties and outdoor festivals, which is regrettable—but doing so ensures you can live to enjoy them in the future. Chances are these gatherings will be cancelled anyway, as events are shut down nationwide.

Visiting Nursing Homes

It’s difficult to go without seeing a friend or loved one who’s in a nursing home or rehab facility, and maybe you’re in one yourself. Best to postpone those visits for now, unless you’re providing critical care. Visit over the phone or online via programs like Zoom or FaceTime or Skype.

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Seeing the Kids or Grandkids

This one can hurt the most, but it’s possibly the most important. It’s believed that younger people can spread coronavirus to older people without showing symptoms, and older people have a higher risk of complications. If your visits aren’t essential, it’s best to move them to the phone or online until the danger passes. This period won’t last forever—but it’s crucial right now.

Not Social Distancing


Even if your locality hasn’t recommended it, it’s important to work from home and stay home as much as possible. Try to maintain distance between yourself and other people when you go out for essentials or to exercise.

Not Going Outside At All

Social distancing doesn’t mean turning your home into a bunker. In fact, experts encourage going outside. It’s “more than okay. It’s a good idea,” said doctors from Johns Hopkins on March 17. Exercise is physically and mentally important, especially in stressful times.” Just keep your distance from others, avoid contact sports, and wash your hands when you get home.

Not Exercising

Exercise is critical to overall health, and it’s important to keep up with it daily, even though your gym may be closed. You can walk or jog around the block or your yard, garden, or do things around the house. And there are dozens of workout apps and online programs—from yoga to boxing—that can keep your health on track, no matter your skill level or interest.

Sharing Misinformation

You weren’t born yesterday. But there are people who prey on anxiety in times of crisis, circulating misinformation online. Before you share anything on social media, make sure it comes from a reputable source, such as a major news outlet, health organization, hospital or agency like the CDC or WHO, or a website like this.

Not Washing Your Hands

Experts say thorough handwashing is the most effective way to avoid contracting viruses, including coronavirus. Wash your hands every time you use the bathroom, return home from a public place, before and after preparing food, and before eating—basically, as often as is practical.

Not Washing Your Hands Long Enough

Lather up your hands with soap, wash and rinse for 20 seconds total—about as long as it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” twice or—if you want to boogie—”I Will Survive.”

Shaking Hands

Experts recommend that everyone replace handshakes or greeting hugs with a wave for the time being. That’s especially important for people over 60, so you can avoid serious complications.

Letting Your Blood Pressure Rise

If you’re taking medication or making lifestyle changes to reduce high blood pressure, it’s important to stay on course. High blood pressure has been associated with worse outcomes for people who contract COVID-19.

Avoiding Home Delivery

If you need to get food or medication delivered, don’t avoid it out of fear of contracting coronavirus. And if you want to treat yourself to a delivery dinner from your favourite restaurant, go for it. “The risk of contracting coronavirus through food has been, and is, extremely small,” Martin Wiedmann, a professor of food safety in the Department of Food Science at Cornell University, told the New York Post on March 13. He reminds you, however, to wash your hands after accepting the delivery and handling the packaging.

Using Cash

Experts believe that coronavirus can live on paper money for days, increasing the risk of transmission. Pay with plastic whenever you can.

Not Disinfecting Your Cell Phone

Researchers have found our phones can be seven times as dirty as a toilet seat, even during normal times. Make a habit of wiping down your phone with disinfectant once a day. A 50-50 mix of rubbing alcohol and water will do the job.

Not Disinfecting “High-Touch” Surfaces

It’s a good idea to wipe down things you touch frequently, like keyboards, remote controls and light switches.

Not Seeking Support

Feelings of loneliness aren’t uncommon after 60, and they might be especially intense now. Make it a point to reach out to friends and family as often as possible with phone calls and video chats. If you’d like to talk with a professional, it’s never been easier, thanks to online services. Your healthcare provider might also be able to connect you with a therapist who can do phone or video sessions.

Going Out If You Feel Sick

If you’re feeling unwell, stay home and call your healthcare provider for advice. You might just have a common cold—but going out with any illness that compromises your immune system could make you more susceptible to coronavirus.

Not Checking On Others

“Social distancing only applies to physical space, not all human connections,” doctors from Johns Hopkins said on March 17. “If you know someone who can’t go outside, call them regularly.” Maintaining those social connections will make both of you feel a lot better.

Feeling Useless

This is an unprecedented event, but all of us can take simple, meaningful action to care for others and ourselves. Donate blood to supporting food banks, contribute to children’s charities and low-income health clinics, and practice self-care.

Going to an ER If You’re Not Seriously Sick

If you have COVID-19 symptoms—namely, cough, fever and shortness of breath—call your healthcare provider and follow their instructions. Don’t go to an ER/Hospital unless you’re having serious trouble breathing; you might infect others.

Overindulging In Alcohol

Because of loneliness, stress and medical conditions, it’s all too easy for people over 60 to begin self-medicating with booze. That’s counterproductive, especially now. Drinking too much can raise your blood pressure and reduce immunity, which can make you more susceptible to coronavirus and its complications. If you’re regularly having more than one daily drink (for women) or two (for men), talk with your healthcare provider about reversing that trend.

Settling For Less Sleep

You might find it hard to sleep, particularly now. But it’s a myth that humans need less sleep as we age, and insomnia can seriously compromise your health. When we sleep, our immune system recharges, and a lack of quality shut-eye has been associated with other serious conditions like heart disease and cancer. Shoot for seven to nine hours a night. If you’re getting less, talk with your healthcare provider about how you can get better rest.

Touching Your Face

This is one of the most common ways to contract illness. Studies show we touch our faces up to a dozen times an hour. You can moisturize your face and use eye drops to reduce itching, or even wear gloves to train yourself to stay hands-down.

Not Self-Quarantining If You Suspect You’ve Been Exposed

This is key to slowing the spread of the virus, experts say. Follow your healthcare provider’s instructions.

Not Self-Isolating If You’re Infected

If you’re sick with COVID-19, it’s important to occupy a separate bedroom from other members of your family if possible. Avoid sharing glasses, plates, silverware and personal items like towels and bedding until you’re recovered.

You Forgot to Take Your Blood Pressure Medication!

“You’re not alone. Did you know 125,000 US citizens die every year because they did not take their medication correctly? This can have serious consequences. For example, it can lead to poorly controlled diabetes, poor control of blood pressure, and an increased risk of a heart attack or a stroke. Chronic illness weakens the immune system. This is why underlying health conditions make people more susceptible to infections—including COVID-19,” say Dr. Lee.

Remember, This Isn’t Forever

This is going to be a tough period. You may feel isolated, and with no structure to your day, depressed. Remind yourself that this is a temporary way of life. Make a list of all the amazing things you want to do with your life—and start today the ones you can do indoors.

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