A recent panel discussion by the AARP covered a topic on the minds of many in response to the coronavirus pandemic: How Americans can stay safe while also being socially engaged and connected to loved ones.
The virtual discussion, titled “Coronavirus: Personal Resilience in the New Normal,” was AARP’s 12th Coronavirus Tele-Town Hall since March 10. The panel covered topics such as the safety of hugging loved ones, actions older Americans can take to support protesters, and ways to practice self-care during this stressful time. Here are a few key takeaways:
- At-risk people should complete health appointments over the phone if possible. Doctors should only be making in person appointments with those individuals if it’s essential for them to perform a physical exam.
- Doctors do not recommend physical touch with loved ones from other households at this time.
- If you do plan to meet with loved ones from other households, do so in an open outdoor space.
- Advocate for your loved ones in nursing homes. If you suspect that a loved one is being mistreated by nursing home staff you can contact with a long-term care ombudsman. If you live in Ohio, you can reach out to them here.
- At-risk people should refrain from protesting and instead should seek to support protesters who represent their interests by donating, calling elected officials, and registering to vote.
- Caregiers need to make space in their life for humor, rest and relaxation. Taking care of an at-risk loved one is more taxing than ever, and it is essential to consider your own mental health during the process.