What Can I Do To Prevent Contracting The Virus?
Since the latter end of 2019 COVID-19 has quickly swept the globe, infecting millions of people and sadly killing hundreds of thousands of those afflicted. Unfortunately, the global pandemic continues to impact the UK and the billions around the world. That is why we have written this article to help our residents and the ageing population of the UK [as well as the rest of the world], by providing advice and insights on how to best maintain your health during this critical time and prevent contracting this horrible virus.
Health and wellness tips for senior citizens
As the lockdown came into force back in March of this year, many considered the implications on mental health, as well as your physical wellbeing. We are here to offer guidance so that you too can reduce the risk of contracting this horrible virus as well as maintain an active lifestyle and healthy mind.
Mental Health & Physical Wellbeing
As a care home that specialises in degenerative mental illnesses like Dementia and Alzheimer’s, we always look to facilitate the needs of those in our care by making sure that they stay mentally active. From our experience the following things have proven to successfully help people over the age of 65 maintain a healthy mind and body as well as combat and prevent physical and mental conditions from developing or manifesting, such as; anxiety and depression.
- Exercise: Whether you go for a walk or run, go to the gym / home-gym, or take part in a sport, regular exercise has been shown to improve both mental and physical health. Exercise releases endorphins, which elevates your mood, additionally studies have shown that regular exercise also generally reduces stress and your chances of suffering with other illnesses and conditions, such as depression, anxiety, heart disease, It has even shown signs of slowing down illnesses like Alzheimer’s from advancing. This in turn means your body is more capable of battling viruses like COVID-19.
- Diet: Maintaining a healthy and balanced diet, means that you will be receiving all the nutrients the body needs to function at optimal levels. In turn this will help to boost your immune system, which is what helps to fight viruses and infections, as well as help maintain normal bodily functions. Having a healthy and balanced diet. is not to say that you cannot have a drink or a piece of chocolate, you can, the trick is everything in moderation.
- Do not be all-consumed by news articles: Unfortunately, there is a lot of “fake news” out there, and whilst the government and many corporations are doing everything they can to combat this, it has a tendency to spread unnecessary, wide-spread panic. Paying too much attention to news articles, fake or otherwise, can unnecessarily drastically increase anxiety and fear.
- Regularly clean and disinfect: The UK and the rest of the world is learning more and more about the virus every day, and studies have shown that the virus can manifest and remain on certain materials longer than others. That is why we encourage everyone, especially our residents, staff, and visitors, to use PPE, was our hands or use hand sanitiser regularly and ensure that they clean regularly. In the case of our residents, our staff are on-hand to make sure everything is sterilised and regularly disinfected, in addition to being regularly cleaned to ensure we prevent the spread as best we can.
A key component to preventing the contracting and spreading of the virus is to maintain social distancing: a minimum of 2 metres apart from one another or, in a care setting, 1m where completely unavoidable whilst wearing PPE. This does mean that sadly, if you or a family member is in our care, you cannot hug, kiss and embrace them, there are some positives that we feel you should bear in mind and take solace in:
- You can still socialise with family and friends in person so long as you maintain social distance, you can see your loved ones in our care via window visits.
- Video calls: via software and applications such as; Facetime, Skype, Whatsapp and Zoom (which our Activities Coordinators can assist you with), offers you the opportunity to continue to regularly interact and see your friends and family.
- Phone calls: we have implemented a line onto each unit solely dedicated to resident-family contact.
Embracing new hobbies, or even finding time for long-standing ones, has helped prevent and shown signs of aiding in battles with mental health. Taking on hobbies like, crafts, sports (like bowls), reading, or even learning a new skill, keeps the mind active and boosts serotonin levels (the happy chemical produced by the body). Furthermore, as it is something that you enjoy, you will find that your dopamine levels also increase (pleasure) caused from the enjoyment you experience, which in-turn boosts your serotonin levels as well. All of which directly helps your mental wellbeing.