Health

Keeping Older Adults Safe during the Pandemic

 

With the majority of older Americans fully vaccinated, people are now confident about their health and safety even as the pandemic has yet to end. The vaccine has reduced their risk of getting infected or at least experiencing a severe case of the disease.

But this development comes as new variants of the virus started to emerge. Due to this, the assisted living facility where older adults live must follow all safety protocols. While they receive the vaccine, the delta variant is more transmissible compared to the original variant of the virus.

Here are the things that older American adults should do to keep themselves safe during the pandemic:

Get Vaccinated

If they haven’t gotten the vaccine, it’s time for them to get it. With the surge in the number of cases, one of the best ways to protect them from a severe case of the disease is to get vaccinated. They should check when they can schedule their appointment at the local health department. They can also check with their doctor and see if the vaccine is available for them.

If they are not a part of the 80 percent of older American adults who are fully vaccinated, they should find a way to get a dose of the vaccine. The vaccines provide considerable protection against the different variants of the virus. If they want more information about the vaccines, they should check credible sources rather than social media posts. They can look at reports offered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

Follow Health Protocols

Even after they get fully vaccinated, older American adults should still follow health protocols. While the vaccine can protect them from the virus, there are still breakthrough cases of the virus. These breakthrough cases mean they can still get infected, especially with the more transmissible delta variant of the virus. But they’ll likely experience a mild case of the disease rather than a severe one.

Due to this, they should continue to follow health protocols, such as wearing a mask while they are inside a building that has no open windows. They should also avoid going to large gatherings and unnecessary trips. If they need to go out, they should avoid mingling with people who do not live with them. They should remember that there are instances when an infected person does not show any symptoms of the disease. So, they should avoid situations that can increase the risk of infection, especially if they are immunocompromised.

Get Some Sunlight

Going out and getting some sunlight is another way for older adults to stay healthy. They can explore a nearby park or take a walk around the neighborhood. Sun exposure can improve their mood and increase the levels of vitamin D in their bodies.

Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium, which is essential for older adults who are prone to osteoporosis. The added calcium in their bones also reduces the risk of falling. Vitamin D also reduces the risk of infections and some cancers. It also enhances their mental health and level of happiness. But when they go outside, they should still wear a mask and take a walk with someone from their household. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Exercise

Regular physical activity allows older adults to take care of their health. Exercising prevents a lot of health issues that may come with age. It also strengthens their muscles and allows them to do more things without the help of anyone else.

But before they start any exercise routine, older adults should consult their doctor and ask about the activities they can do. They can go for a brisk walk around the neighborhood or perform muscle strengthening exercises. Older adults can also perform aerobic activities. The level of these physical activities will depend on the advice of their doctor.

Consult the Doctor if Necessary

The current surge in the number of cases makes it important for older adults to stay in touch with their doctors. They should not put off their regular appointments. And if necessary, they should go in for medical care. In case they need to go to a medical facility, they should follow proper health protocols.

Even if they have the full protection of the vaccine, they can still get infected due to the increased transmissibility of the delta variant of the virus. If there’s no emergency, they can consult their doctor using videoconferencing software so they do not leave their home. They should also get preventative care when necessary.

The pandemic is not yet over. Due to this, older American adults should still focus on keeping themselves healthy even if they already received the vaccine.

 

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