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Safety tips for older loved ones during COVID

Cooler Weather and COVID-19: 5 Ways to Stay Safer

For many of us, fall’s cooling temperatures brings with it a renewed concern over COVID-19. For one thing, experts tell us that the COVID lives longer and travels further in cooler, dryer temperatures. We also know that colder weather draws people indoors. And, COVID likes small enclosed indoor areas as well. What COVID doesn’t like, however, are masks, social distance and anti-viral cleaning products. Taking the time to understand the likes and dislikes of COVID helps all of us to stay as safe as possible while still enjoying the change in weather.

If you have a loved one with dementia, you are probably experiencing an added layer of concern for their physical and cognitive health. Of course, you want to make sure that you are doing everything possible to them safe from COVID and limiting any activities that might put them at risk. Here are some tips to keep in mind as our weather cools:

  1. Change your air filters regularly. Experts suggest an HEPA filter with a MERV rating of 12 or 13. While some droplets may sneak past the filters, viruses of this nature that are most often found in water droplets will be caught.
  2. Bring in fresh air from outside as much as possible. Understanding that really cold weather will make this impossible, even cracking open a window will lend a degree of natural ventilation.
  3. Take advantage of sunlight. When you have a sunny day, if warm enough, take your loved one and sit outside. If it’s too cold, open up the blinds and bring in that sunlight. COVID is not a fan of UV rays. Plus, the sunshine helps your body manufacture it’s own natural vitamin D.
  4. Wear a mask and socially distance as much as possible. Make sure that your loved one does as well. It’s important to remember that masks are effective for containing droplets emitted by a cough, sneeze or loud talking.
  5. Wash your hands regularly and keep surfaces clean. This really goes without saying. It will help protect you and your loved one from other viruses as well as bacteria that might lurk on kitchen counters and other areas in the home.

At our Anthem Memory Care communities, we continue to be warriors against COVID by keeping our buildings clean and airflow as open as possible. Our wonderful teams take the wearing of PPE (personal protection equipment) very seriously and have been thoroughly trained to adhere diligently to CDC guidelines.

As of yet, epidemiologists aren’t certain how bad the normal, seasonal flu will be this year, let alone if there will be COVID spikes. Of course, we all eagerly await a vaccine and improved therapeutics to stem the rate of serious infection.

However, in the meantime it is important to stay informed and up to date with all the latest scientific findings and to use all the resources available to keep your loved one safe and healthy.

We do know that COVID-19 will eventually wane and that we will once again be able to enjoy the person to person contact that is so important for all of us. Until then, we will pull together in the months to come and look forward to better days ahead.