Getting older when a pandemic strikes can be scary. Millions of people are over the age of 65, and over 50 million of them are right here in the United States. This age group faces special challenges as COVID_19 continues to spread. The following are a few pandemic challenges for elderly, and tips to keep in mind, as we navigate this unprecedented time together.
Pandemic Challenges for 60+ Year Old’s
Health Risk For the Elderly
Many of us know by now that elderly and immune compromised individuals are at higher risk for contracting COVID_19. If you are an at-risk individual, or a close family member or caregiver for one, health is probably of utmost important to you right now. Follow CDC Guidelines for health and safety. Please keep the most recent CDC Coronavirus tips in mind as you navigate this health crisis:
- Wash hands often and for at least 20 seconds.
- Avoid close contact with others and stay home as much as possible, especially if you are in a higher risk population.
- Cover coughs and sneezes. Try to sneeze or cough into your elbow, not your hand, if you don’t have a tissue handy.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces daily, especially often touched surfaces such as doorknobs, countertops, canes and walkers, hand rales, tables, etc.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a face cover when around others. This is a new suggestion from the CDC asking everyone to cover their mouth and nose when around others – regardless of if you feel sick or not. The CDC recommends wearing a cloth around your nose and mouth every time you go into public settings such as grocery stores, etc. Learn more about the CDC’s latest recommendation and how to make your own face cover here.
Scammers and Pandemic Challenges for Elderly
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently posted an important blog post regarding the surplus of scammers targeting senior citizens. Many of these scammers are using fear as a tactic to get money or attempting to sell snake oil as the cure for Coronavirus. Don’t fall for anything suspicious or seems too good to be true without first doing your due diligence. Be aware of scammers attempting to use CDC or World Health Organization logos in emails asking for money. They’re also calling, texting, and taking over social media with schemes and snake oil. As you remember to wash your hands diligently, also remember the following tips (brought to you straight from the FTC):
- Don’t Rush – It’s okay to take your time to review the accuracy of the information being presented to you. Scammers like to rush people into making immediate decisions over the phone, text, or email. Legitimate organizations want you to fully understand what you’re doing before you do it, even if it takes a little longer to fill out the paperwork.
- Do the Research – Before moving forward with giving out personal information, you want to take the time to fully vet the situation. Do your research before giving out money. Ask yourself, “do the facts back up the story?”
- Ask Someone Else – If something seems too good to be true, but you aren’t sure, ask a close friend or relative what they think. They might be able to spot a phishing or popular scamming technique that will save you time and effort.
- File a Complaint – If you see a scam, report it to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint.
- Follow the FTC – Sign up for Consumer Alerts to see the latest scams and watch for COVID_19 scams at ftc.gov/coronavirus.
Stress and Pandemic Challenges for Everyone
During these difficult times, it can feel impossible to not be stressed out by world events. For the elderly population and other at-risk populations, the Coronavirus is a very real threat and the thought of getting sick is incredibly stressful. When the fear and anxiety start to feel overwhelming due to the pandemic challenges for elderly, remember the importance of remaining calm during difficult times. Be cautious, but avoid the panic to keep your mental health just as strong as your physical health. Remember these tips from the CDC when feeling overwhelmed:
- Take Breaks From the News – It’s important to stay informed but tuning in all day everyday can cause further fear and anxiety that won’t help.
- Move Around – Even if you can’t get outside the house, take some time to get physical. This can include stretching, yoga, walking, YouTube workout videos, etc. Even meditation can be helpful and calming.
- Social Distance but Don’t Social Isolate – As we practice social distancing to stay safe, we must also remember to not isolate others, especially the elderly and people who are living alone. They may be going stir crazy and the feeling of being locked inside your house all day isn’t fun for anyone. It’s okay to pick up the phone and call your friends, family, elderly loved ones, and immune-compromised loved ones. Social isolation is linked to adverse health effects so it’s important for all us to do what we can to stick together, even when we are 6 to 10 feet apart at all times.
- Ask for Help – If you are feeling overwhelmed with anxiety or depression about the Coronavirus and/or the financial fallout, it’s okay to ask for help. You are not alone. If you or someone you love is experiencing stress and overwhelm that is getting in the way of your daily living, consider the following options:
- Call 911 if you or someone you know is experiencing a life or death emergency.
- Call your healthcare provider if you are having serious trouble handling daily living activities for more than three days.
- Call SAHMSA’s Disaster Distress helpline: 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746. (TTY 1-800-846-8517).
- Call 1-800-273-8255 or follow this link if you are feeling suicidal.
As we mentioned above, we are all in this together. If you are concerned about guardianship, probate, estate and asst protection matters at this time, we are here to help. Our offices are virtually open, and we are ready to answer your questions and work with you to get or stay protected during these uncertain times. Please visit the Michaelson & Associates website to learn more about our legal services and call our office at 702-731-2333 to schedule a virtual meeting or phone conference.