The situation with COVID 19 evolves daily. Recent reports indicate that many business are set to re-open in the next couple weeks. As this happens we think it is critical to remind our clients, friends, and family over the age of 70 just how risky the health situation remains. As I’m sure we have all seen in the news, people over the age of 70 are the most at risk for having complications from the virus. From the data so far, we know this age group makes up the largest percentage requiring hospitalization, being admitted to the intensive care unit and those that have passed.
The most important thing is prevention. It is more critical for this age group than any other to limit social contact. Unfortunately, this means staying away from family and friends, which for many of our clients is very hard as not seeing their kids and grandkids increases their stress and anxiety. Here is some advice to help us during this stay at home time period.
Essentials, Groceries, and Meals
Many of our essential items can be ordered online and delivered right to our doors via websites like Amazon, Target and Walmart.
For grocery shopping, most local grocery stores will deliver or load your items curbside at their stores. We have used and very much like Thrive Market for dry goods and Butcher Box for meat deliveries. Both Butcher Box and Thrive market are reaching capacity, so you may want to get on a waitlist to ensure access, especially if our restrictions continue into the summer. Although not ideal, many stores of all kinds have also added senior-only shopping hours.
Luckily today, technology has enabled us to easily get meals and take-out delivered right to our front doors by using third-party delivery services like Uber Eats, DoorDash and GrubHub. Also, a lot of restaurants are offering delivery for a limited time.
It is important to postpone routine or nonessential appointments. When in doubt, call the physician and ask if it is critical to meet now. Check with your primary physician to see if they are providing virtual and/or telemedicine appointments that can be done right from your mobile phone or computer. Please remember we have access to many medical resources. If you need help or information, feel free to reach out to us, and we can potentially connect you with someone or guide you to the right solution.
Visiting Family and Friends
Facetime, Zoom, Skype are all video chat tools that enable us to stay socially connected during this stay at home time. We highly recommend using these resources to watch grandkids play outside, watch movies together, have a virtual happy hour or coffee with friends you have missed, and stay as socially connected as possible. If you need any assistance loading or utilizing any of these tools, please let us know. We would be happy to help in any way we can.
Fun and Entertainment
This crisis has increased everyone’s overall stress level. However, we worry that the heightened risk for this older population can lead to even more stress and can be quite overwhelming. As we have said before it is critical in times like these to stay physically and mentally engaged. We also think it’s important to do things that bring happiness, fun, and enjoyment while passing the time.
- Learn a new skill you have always wanted to try. Masterclass is a good website to check out.
- If you have been putting off setting up streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime to watch favorite or new movies, documentaries or tv shows; now is a great time.
- Crossword puzzles and word games can be a fun way to help you stay mentally engaged.
- Read an old-fashioned book.
- What better time than now is there to try a new hobby like painting, gardening, baking, writing, or whatever it is you have always wanted to try.
- Meditation. I am a big fan of the Calm app. Headspace is another app that I have heard good things.
- Safely go outside for a walk or bike ride. My family recently visited a state park to help us stay active and visit a new place. Make sure you do it safely by wearing protective face wear and social distancing on trails. If you live in Ohio, here is a great site to find a park.
- A car ride may be a good way to spend an afternoon, but make sure you take precautions when getting gas or stopping.
- Exercise at home is a great option too. Do some basic stretching exercises. Walk up and down your stairs to get your heart rate up. Here is a link to do chair exercises from the safety of your own home. The CDC and YouTube has countless at home exercise videos.
- We keep saying this, but take advantage of Facetime, Skype or Zoom to keep (as much as possible) the personal contact with family and friends. Seeing them can really help with the feeling of being isolated and missing them.
During times of stress it’s even more important to make sure all financial affairs are in place. In the coming months make sure you revisit:
- Your financial goals and plans are up to date.
- Your financial and medical records are well organized and safely stored.
- Estate planning documents are up to date.
As we continually advise, planning well in advance is critical. Plans that are constructed after a need or crisis can be stressful and may not provide the best results for clients of all ages but especially among the older population. This is the perfect time to make sure important plans are all up to date.