The pandemic had a considerable effect on older adults since they had to stay home to avoid getting infected. The risk of developing severe illnesses is higher among older adults due to their age and health condition. The isolation also affected their mental health, and they had to settle with the activities available to them at home.
But the situation improved after around 58 percent of the total population got fully vaccinated. This allows families to visit their loved ones, especially older relatives. It also allows them to help older family members to go back to their old routines.
Here are some tips that families can help re-engage their older relatives during the pandemic:
Make Sure They Visit Their Physician
Before going back to their old routines, families need to ensure their older family members see their doctors. The pandemic forced many people in the older population to delay medical care to avoid getting infected.
Families should schedule preventive care screenings for their older family members. These health screenings include eye exams, hearing checks, and dental cleanings. Seeing their doctors also allows them to get vaccinated if they did not get the vaccine yet.
When they have themselves checked, older adults will know what they need to do to stay healthy. It also allows them to consult their doctor about physical exercises that they want to engage in during the pandemic.
Let Them Engage in Physical Exercises
After consulting their doctor, older adults will know the physical exercises they can engage in during a health crisis. If they have no health issues, older adults can take a walk at a nearby park or perform exercises at home. Following online videos designed for older adults is also a good idea, especially if the older adult wants to stay home.
But if the senior adult wants to live in a nursing home, the family should look for one that facilitates daily physical activities. These activities allow them to strengthen their muscles and improve their flexibility. With this, they will reduce the risk of falling, which is a common cause of injuries for older adults. Exercise also enhances their mental health and increases their endorphin levels that help relieve stress.
Let Them Go Outside
When older adults have already got vaccinated, they should consider going outside to exercise. But they should continue following health protocols. Walking for at least 150 minutes every week offers many health benefits, including a reduction in the risk of stroke, hypertension, osteoporosis, and diabetes.
Taking a walk on a sunny day also stimulates vitamin D in the skin of older adults. This is important for them since they are prone to vitamin D deficiency due to their age and lifestyle. Vitamin D facilitates the normal function of the immune system.
Vitamin D also reduces the risk of developing abnormalities in their bones. Additionally, the vitamin helps reduce the risk of depression since the vitamin plays a role in managing the mood of a person.
Make Sure They Have a Healthy Diet
Having a healthy diet is particularly important for older adults. A healthy diet provides them with the nutrients that they need to stay energized and maintain a healthy weight. They should eat more nutrient-rich food, such as fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, lean protein, and whole grains.
A healthy diet for older adults should include fiber-rich food to help them keep their digestive system healthy. Fiber allows them to avoid issues with their digestive system. Additionally, older adults should consider taking supplements if their diet lacks some vitamins and minerals. But before taking the supplements, they should consult their doctors.
Keep in Touch with Them
At the height of the pandemic, people had to postpone visits to their older relatives to protect them from the virus. This made older adults feel isolated, which had a significant effect on their mental health. They had to settle for online conversations with their loved ones.
With the improvement of the health situation, families have the chance to visit them again. Due to this, people should consider taking a trip to visit the older members of their family. But they should make sure everyone is vaccinated. They should also continue to follow health protocols since breakthrough cases can happen.
Reestablish Their Routines
Reestablishing routines have a positive effect on the health of older adults. When they follow a daily routine, older adults will see stress levels go down since they know what’s in store for them throughout the day. It also requires fewer decisions, which reduces the amount of anxiety that they feel. And with less anxiety, older adults will sleep better at night.
The improvement in the health situation allows older adults to enjoy the activities they’d enjoyed before the pandemic happened.