Keeping Loved Ones Safe During the Holidays

According to the National Council on Aging, loneliness hits seniors especially hard during the holidays, and it can harm their health. This year, there’s even more at stake.

You may be wondering if you should postpone your family gatherings to keep the older adults in your life safe. While the decision is a personal one, there are five ways to stay coronavirus safe during the holidays while keeping loneliness at bay.

1. Postpone Gatherings

’Tis the season—and ’twill be a lot different from last year. Before you decide to host a holiday gathering with your loved one, check your local health department website to see the number of Covid-19 cases in your community. If the number is high, you may want to postpone and hope for better circumstances next year.

If the number is low and you’re comfortable proceeding, get familiar with the CDC guidelines for safer holiday events and gatherings. According to the CDC, making little tweaks to the event location can help lower the risk of transmission. Hosting a gathering outside, for example, carries less risk than hosting a gathering inside. If it’s too cold outside, you can crack windows and turn on fans to improve ventilation and reduce the risk. According to experts, shorter events are also safer than longer events. Consider a happy hour or tea, for example, instead of a full sit-down dinner.

2. Limit Your Guest List

The CDC also suggests shrinking the circle this year to a few family members and close friends. Both big guest lists and invitations to people out of town increase the risk of spreading the virus. Make sure you have enough room for the number of people you invite to practice social distancing (staying at least six feet apart) and limit contact with each other.

This holiday season, healthy outranks “polite”.

Let your guests know upfront that it’s better not to attend if they develop symptoms of Covid-19 or have been exposed to someone with the virus, even if it’s at the last minute. That goes for the host, too.

3. Provide Safety Supplies

If you do plan to host a holiday event, let your guests know upfront that they’ll need to wear masks but have fresh ones on hand in case they forget. (Don’t share used masks.) Provide each person with individual packages of tissue, as well as hand sanitizer that has at least 60% alcohol. Encourage hand washing and have individual paper towels available in the bathroom for drying.

4. Don’t Delay Assisted Living

If you’ve already decided assisted living is right for your loved one, don’t wait until the holidays pass. Assisted living communities have implemented strict infection prevention guidelines and precautions. Moving to assisted living during the coronavirus pandemic is safe. At Sonata Senior Living in Florida, we follow all state and federal guidelines for symptom screening, enhanced cleaning and social distancing. Sonata Senior Living in Florida also offers tours based on safe touring practices.

Allowing a loved one to continue to struggle with activities of daily living (ADLs) at home comes with its own set of risks. If you notice your loved one has difficulty with balance, for example, ask their doctor for guidance. Falls are a special concern for seniors living at home and can lead to serious injuries and broken bones. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in four people over the age of 65 falls in a given year, and less than half of them tell their doctor. What’s more, one fall doubles the odds of a second.

5. Consider Respite Care

The holiday whirl can be as stressful as it is fun. The obligations increase with the expectations of those around us, and we can easily put too much pressure on ourselves.

The importance of holiday respite care and caregiver burnout is real. According to AARP, more than one third of caregivers report high levels of stress and physical strain. It’s OK to take a break. Don’t wait until you’re exhausted or sick.

Respite care gives you the time you need to relax, recharge, and come back to your loved one as the best version of yourself. Sonata Senior Living offers short-term stays for your loved one. Stays can be as short as five days or as long as 30 days.

As you weigh your respite care options, keep your loved one’s overall health in mind. At Sonata, our services include specialized, around-the-clock care for Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and other chronic health conditions. In addition to strict health and safety guidelines, dining services in senior living during the coronavirus have continued without interruption,

Coronavirus Safety During The Holidays

You want your loved one to have the happiest holidays ever, but it’s important to take health and safety precautions seriously. Older adults are more vulnerable to viruses like Covid and flu, so think carefully about what you can realistically do together during the holidays. At the end of the day, it may be best to postpone gatherings and spend more one-on-one time with your loved one.

To learn how Sonata can help, contact us today→ or schedule a visit →

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