Wash Your Hands!
Washing your hands regularly and correctly is one of the simplest yet most overlooked ways to instantly improve your sanitization habits. Before eating, after sneezing or coughing, and when you return from outside your home, you should immediately wash with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds (the time it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” twice).
Be sure to clean between your fingers, under your nails, and around your wrists. Lastly, use a clean towel to dry your hands or you’ll be back where you started!
Visit the CDC’s website to learn more.
While your home may be clean, it’s important to keep in mind that soap and many detergents do not kill germs. Use a disinfectant that kills viruses, fungi, and bacteria (check the label to be sure). Wipe down commonly used surfaces like doorknobs, lights, keys, appliances, phones, and remotes regularly.
Do the same with upholstery, cushions, and mattresses with a product that won’t harm them. Don’t forget to also sanitize your car’s doors, steering wheel, and seats. After fully cleaning, be sure wash your hands again!
According to the Cleveland Clinic, “stress decreases the body’s lymphocytes — the white blood cells that help fight off infection. The lower your lymphocyte level, the more at risk you are for viruses.” In order to stay healthy, it’s important to identify your clear indicators of stress as well as ways to manage it (like meditating, enjoying a hobby, etc.).
Implementing better habits will impact your health and affect those around you. Lowering your stress won’t guarantee immunity, but it’s easier to stay well than to get well.
Since crowded spaces can put people at more risk of contracting an illness, older people must be more conscientious of how they shop for groceries and necessities. Thankfully, it’s easy to order items online with services like Instacart (only a $10 minimum), Amazon Fresh (free for Prime members), and Jet (to buy in bulk for a bargain). If you’d still rather shop in-person, check to see if your favorite store is offering exclusive hours for senior citizens, wear a mask, and stay six feet apart from other shoppers.
While you may not be able to participate in all of your favorite activities due to social distancing, it’s extremely important for your health and well-being to keep both physically and mentally active each day. Walking around your neighborhood, gardening, playing a musical instrument, dancing, practicing tai chi, knitting, baking, and writing poetry are just a few ideas.
This may be the perfect time to dust off an old talent or develop a skill you’ve always wanted to learn. Start by exploring millions of “how-to” videos on YouTube.
There’s no reason to be lonely! While it can be difficult to be apart from many of the people you love, it’s easier than ever to connect with friends, children, and grandchildren virtually. Set up a free account on Zoom or use Facebook’s built-in video chat to reach out with a smile and a story.
If you’d rather keep it “old school,” call someone on the phone, write a letter, or send a care package each day. They’ll appreciate the surprise and love building a stronger relationship with you. Check out our full list of ideas here.
Although it is a difficult time, with a few preventative measures and extra steps, you can remain healthy, stress-free, and connected to the world around you in a meaningful way.