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Eight Tips for Seniors During Confinement

Older people are the most prone to the new coronavirus. Therefore, it is very important that to protect their health they stay at home. “It's normal to feel fear and or concern about the new diseases, like the current coronavirus pandemic that are affecting most the people in the entire world. To stop contagions and protect everyone's health, you have to stay home and not receive visitors.

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For this reason, and given the importance of complying with the main prevention routes, Connect Ability lists the following tips for the elderly in the face of this serious Covid-19 pandemic.

1) Prevention

Stay home. Ask someone you trust to shop for the items you need. Wash your hands often and thoroughly, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds, up to the wrists. Special care must be taken with the nails. Avoid touching your face (eyes, nose and mouth). When coughing or sneezing, cover your mouth and nose with a bent elbow. Use tissues and throw them away after use. Keep a distance of 1.5 meters from other people (when bringing food home or when shopping). Ventilate the house for 10 minutes, at least 3 times a day.

2) stay informed

Find some official and institutional sources, and choose time of the day to be informed. Take advantage of the rest of the time to do other activities. Follow the advice of those responsible for health and health authorities. You must not believe the rumors and not spread them, as well as distrust the news that comes through social networks. It is enough to follow the news on television, radio or press a couple of times a day.

3) Disconnect

Avoid watching the news all day. Reduce the number of times you watch, read, or hear news that distresses you. Avoid sensational television or radio programs. Use the technique that you like or works best for you to relax, such as deep breaths, listening to music, doing activities or movements that make us feel good.

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4) Discuss with one or more trusted people each day

It is important to have a landline or mobile phone on hand, as well as to keep it active and charged. Talk on the phone or even make video calls or messages every day with loved ones, you trust, about the worries, the activities you do, the recipes you prepare. Have a list with the telephone numbers of the CAP, relatives, taxi, etc. If you have a home care service, always have the button nearby for you to contact them. Ask them to buy the things they need (food, medication, etc.) and to take them home and leave them on the landing. If you can use your mobile, participate in WhatsApp groups with friends and family.

5) Enjoy

You have to focus on the day to day, live in the moment, look for the positive, think that all this will pass. Look at the calendar every day. Do different things depend on the day of the week? Shower and dress daily. You have to prioritize the activities that you like the most, such as reading, sewing, doing hobbies, cooking, listening to music, dancing, writing, painting, watching movies, for example. If you have, go out onto the terrace or balcony. It is convenient to open the windows several times a day and have contact with the air and the sun, necessary to produce vitamin D. Find the most cheerful or bright places within the house, and try to spend time there. Rest for the night. Get enough sleep (8-9 hours). A relaxing infusion before going to bed can help. Take your usual medication and do the same checks at home that you normally would.

6) Eat right and follow good health habits

Eat a balanced and varied diet, rich in unprocessed foods. Avoid foods high in sugar, fat, or salt. Drink water. Do not smoke or consume alcohol. Be extra careful not to trip over some obstacles or pets. Maintain regular routines and times for getting up, showering, eating, and going to sleep. Wear non-slip footwear and be careful on wet floors. Maintain adequate lighting.

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Prepare healthy and palatable meals, especially vegetables, fresh and seasonal fruits, as well as legumes and whole foods. Frozen vegetables and jars of cooked vegetables are good allies. Serve small portions since, in any case, it can always be repeated. Be very careful about hand hygiene, food hygiene, and kitchen surfaces. When cleaning fruits and vegetables, a few drops of bleach should be added to the water according to the usual recommendations.

Also, separate raw food from cooked food; cook meat well; put cooked food in the fridge right away or you can freeze it too; Drink water often and if it is from the tap, the better, since you will save travel, money, and plastic waste; Also plan meals and make a weekly shopping list to give to your support person when you go shopping. After placing the food that has been brought to you, you must clean your hands and the surfaces that they have touched. It is not necessary to store a lot of food as the supply is guaranteed.

7) Get physical

Get physical activity daily and try to sit no more than two hours at a time. Walk down the hallway and rooms several times each day. Also, and during the day, get up from your chair every hour and move around for a couple of minutes. It is helpful to get up to change the TV channel instead of using the remote, if possible. Another option to move more is to do stretches or exercises by bending the ankles and knees, as well as doing a table of simple daily physical exercises to do at home once a day.

8) Keep the house clean

Kitchen and bathroom surfaces should be cleaned frequently with soap and water or the usual products. Then, disinfect the surfaces with a disinfectant product or with bleach diluted 1/50 (the amount equivalent to 2 tablespoons -20 ml- per one liter of water).

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At this point, we must emphasize that diluted bleach should not be stored overnight and it is best to use it just as it is prepared. You can also use hydrogen peroxide or 70% alcohol to clean. It is also advisable to clean the floor often with soap and water or with the usual products and then disinfect with bleach diluted to 1/50 (a glass the size of a water of 200 ml of bleach for a bucket with 10 liters of water). 

Cleaning and disinfection is more important in the most used spaces in the kitchen, bathroom and the places where it is usually. For many reasons (to avoid falls, to facilitate cleaning and disinfection) it is strongly advisable to store carpets. 

ConnectAbility Australia offers disability services, aged care support, family counselling and community programs to support members of the community to achieve great things. We want to equip people to lead the best life possible and achieve their goals, dreams and aspirations to live as independently as they choose. Contact us today!


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