7 Ways Seniors Can Stay Healthy During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Make your physical and mental well-being a priority without putting your immunity at risk

Seniors have been strongly affected by COVID-19. They often have health risks that make them more vulnerable to severe illness. About 78% of all deaths related to the novel coronavirus have been among those age 65 or older, reports the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

But it’s not just physical health that’s impacted. Compared to one in 10 adults age 65 or older who reported anxiety or depression in 2018, one in four adults have felt anxious or depressed most weeks since the onset of pandemic, according to new data from the Kaiser Family Foundation.

So now — yes, amidst the largest pandemic we’ve ever lived through — is the perfect time to make sure your physical and mental well-being are a priority. Until a vaccine eases the world into a safer environment, here’s how you can bolster your wellness without putting your immunity at risk.

1. Focus on illness prevention

Just as the CDC recommends for the general population to lower the chance of acquiring the virus, wash your hands frequently, wear a face mask, keep physical distance from others, stay home when you’re sick, and avoid contact with anyone who has been exposed to or has COVID-19.

2. Utilize telemedicine services for preventative care

Everyone from primary care doctors to dentists are now offering telemedicine or virtual visits in case you don’t feel well enough or safe enough to venture out. Consult with your medical provider about senior health care options you can log into remotely and check which telehealth services your Medicare plan covers — it will likely cover at least part of the cost.

3. Seek out self-care and be mindful of your mental health

As mentioned, anxiety and depression have been reported at record rates due to the overwhelming uncertainties of daily life, senior isolation, daily stresses, and more. Jot down a list of quick and easy activities or habits that make you feel good (say, wearing your favorite slippers, calling a friend, or playing a song you loved as a kid) that you can turn to when you’re feeling low. And don’t be afraid to reach out to a professional, such as a psychologist, counselor, or therapist, if you’re noticing unwelcome feelings are persistent or heavier than usual. The Virtual Therapist Network is a great place to start your search.

4. Prioritize nutrition

It’s tempting to stock up on comfort food when you’re stressed, but proper senior nutrition can help all your internal processes run strong, including your immune system. Aim to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, lean proteins, and a few treats mixed in to fuel your body and your taste buds.

5. Keep moving with safe exercise options

Rather than going to a crowded gym (which has been ranked as one of the riskiest activities during the pandemic by the Texas Medical Association), consider virtual classes, YouTube videos, or one of the over 50 SilverSneakers group activities or classes hosted outside of a traditional gym setting.

6. Stick to a regular sleeping schedule

Quality rest is another key component of a strong immune system. Aim for 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night, if possible, and wind down with as little technology as possible at least 1 hour before you plan to tuck in. For the most restful routine, try to stick to a consistent bedtime and wake time.

7. Manage medications

Continue your current medications as prescribed unless instructed otherwise by your doctor. Aim to stock at least a 30-day supply of all prescription and over-the-counter drugs to limit the number of trips you need to make to your pharmacy.
 
This content may contain links to third party websites, but Medico is neither responsible nor liable for their content, accuracy, or security. Review this website’s Terms and Conditions to learn more.
 
Photo credit: iStock

 

Request a Free Quote

Call 888-755-3066, or click the button
below to have an agent contact you
to develop a personalized free quote
for any of our insurance plans.

  

10 Best and Worst Diets for People Over 60

With new diet trends constantly emerging, it can be difficult to decide which diet plans to follow. Before you try any of these diets, learn which senior diet plans help weight loss, disease prevention, and overall health.

Read More

Answers to the Top 8 Medicare Supplement Questions

Are you wondering if you need Medicare Supplement insurance or if you’re required by law to have it? Find out these and other supplemental Medicare insurance answers.

Read More

How to Choose Supplemental Health Insurance That’s Right for You

Deciding the best supplemental policy for your needs out of myriad of options can be difficult. Learn key insurance terms and how to use them to choose the right supplemental health insurance policy for your needs.

Read More

Answers to Your Most Common Questions About Telemedicine

Telemedicine not only limits transmitting viruses, like COVID-19, it also increases access to care.

Learn More

8 Ways to Minimize Coronavirus Isolation for Seniors

Seniors, who are especially vulnerable to social isolation right now, can minimize senior isolation with these small actions.

Learn More

Protect Yourself from These 10 COVID-19 Scams

Government and fraud investigation organizations are urging consumers to be on high alert for a variety of coronavirus-related scams. 

Learn More

15 Steps to Senior Fall Prevention at Home

A fall at home can be devastating physically, emotionally, and financially for older people. That’s why it’s important to protect seniors by taking steps to minimize the risk of falls in the home.

Read More