5 Ways to Protect More Vulnerable People With Social Distancing

Some important social distancing tips to protect the elderly are listed below.

The coronavirus outbreak is causing massive challenges for people all over the world. As of April 22, there have been 831,283 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States. That number is rising steadily every day.

This pandemic has been especially dangerous to older citizens. Last month, WebMD showed that the mortality rate for seniors over the age of 70 was 4.28%. That figure rises to 7.8% for people over the age of 80.

Since the coronavirus is so deadly for the elderly, it is up to the rest of us to keep them safe. We need to take the best social distancing measures to minimize their risk of infection.

Some important social distancing tips to protect the elderly are listed below.

Finding alternatives for childcare if your child hasn’t practiced adequate social distancing

Millennials with children have become far more dependent on their parents for childcare than most previous generations. The reason is understandable to a degree. Stagnant wages have made it difficult for young adults to keep up with rising costs of living, which makes affordable childcare out of reach for many new families.

Unfortunately, this might not be the best time for grandparents to be taken care of your children unless they have been carefully isolated from virtually all possible sources of infection. You might be putting them at risk if your children did not take stringent social distancing measures of their own. If your child is exposed to COVID-19, then they could pass it on to their vulnerable grandparents.

Providing alternative accommodations at work

Many coronavirus infections originate in the workplace. Almost all states have instituted policies to prohibit nonessential businesses from staying open. However, people are still getting infected at work. Seniors and other employees with underlying health problems are most at risk.

Some precautions could help reduce these risks considerably. The absolute best decision would be to allow all employees to work remotely if possible. If having all employees work from home isn’t an option, then employers should consider prioritizing remote working opportunities for seniors and other people that are most at risk.

Helping seniors get rides to senior shopping days

Many grocery stores have started offering senior shopping days. They allow people over 60 to shop during the first hour the store is open, without allowing anybody younger to enter the store. This significantly minimizes the risk of older adults contracting the disease at the grocery store, because there are fewer people and the store has been carefully sanitized overnight.

The problem is that many older people aren’t able to get to the store at that hour. A number of them have had to surrender their driver’s licenses, due to vision problems, impaired coordination and medications that affect their driving abilities. They are dependent on either friends and family or public transportation to help them get around. Since most communities have been forced to discontinue their public transportation systems in light of the pandemic, this makes seniors more dependent on their loved ones.

If you have a senior friend or family member that can’t drive to senior shopping day, then you may want to give them a ride. You might have to get up earlier than you’re used to, but it can be worth it if you prevent them from getting infected.

Let others know to be wary around senior friends and family members

You want to make sure potential visitors know that a friend or family member is a vulnerable senior. These people include the mailman, UPS delivery people and anybody that visits houses door-to-door.

There are a number of ways to do this. One option is to put custom window clings on their windows to show that they are seniors, so people know to be extra careful when visiting.

Provide emotional support from a distance

People of all ages are struggling with social distancing. It has led to severe cases of anxiety and depression. Seniors can be most at risk because they often have a smaller support network to begin with. Unfortunately, the loneliness could tempt them to break social distancing measures and visit people that could be infected.

You should try to provide emotional support without putting them at risk. However, it is important to do so from a distance, especially if you have had any possibility of being infected. A weekly phone call or a FaceTime conversation could make all the difference in the world. You could also help them set up Zoom and tell them about online meetups.

This content is sponsored by Ryan Kh.

Photo: Shutterstock