Across the United States, towns and states are lifting sanctions to stay at home after more than three months of very isolating times. The urge will be to jump right back to the way life was before, however, continued precautions are advised. While we don’t know what exactly our new “normal” will look like, researchers and industry experts across the nation are working hard to put new plans into place. Just like the mandates put into place in early March, lifting them could take place throughout several phases over several months. Here are some of the most common predictions from industry leaders:
Balancing the Threat of Social Isolation with the Risk of Spreading the Virus
Safe and healthy, self-quarantine can have negative effects on older adults. In fact, long-term isolation is, “linked to higher risks for a variety of physical and mental conditions, including high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, a weakened immune system, anxiety, depression, and cognitive decline.”
How to Combat Isolation
To combat isolation and its negative impact on health, many older adults across the country have learned how to use FaceTime, Skype, Zoom and other video conferencing platforms as a way to connect with their loved ones. In addition, families have been forced to cancel large gatherings and instead have visited with each other virtually.
Seniors are also using virtual experiences like online museum tours, concerts and exercises as a way to stay active and stimulated. While policies in states are most likely to lift eventually, researchers suggest it might take longer than we think to get back to a ‘normal’ lifestyle. Industry leaders predict we will still need to rely on virtual and online technologies until physical interaction is deemed safe again.
Taking Continued Precautions
As mandates continue to lift and life as we know it slowly returns to normal, you might be wondering how to adapt to the new normal. As COVID-19 first began to spread, a large emphasis was put on maintaining proper hygiene. Even as people resume their daily responsibilities, many researchers suggest that our new hygiene habits will stick. This means we might see additional hand-washing stations in shopping areas and more people carrying hand-sanitizer with them when they go out.
Due to the virus transmitting from person to person in the air, many precautions have been put into place to keep people distanced from one another. We may continue to see restaurants and shopping centers limit the number of people allowed in the store at one time. In addition, large group gatherings like concerts and parties could take a while to come back in full swing. Because the threat of the virus won’t entirely disappear for quite some time, many experts are suggesting that individuals will continue to wear masks when out in public.
Tips for Adapting to a New Normal
While no one knows exactly what our new normal will look like, there are ways to ease this transition. As life continues to feel uncertain, here are a few ways to make it feel a little less scary:
• Stay Connected– The most important thing you can do for yourself during this time is stay connected to your friends and family members. Even if you’re unable to connect in person, there are still ways to enjoy each other’s company. You might consider using a video conferencing platform like Skype or Zoom, write letters or schedule consistent phone calls.
• Listen to Your Local Guidelines– Each state has a department of health that regulates the mandates put into place to help stop the spread of the virus. Staying updated on these protocols will help you stay informed and might even give you a sense of control.
• Take Charge of Your Health-Times of transitions can cause our bodies to go through unwanted stress. Maintaining a healthy diet and consistent exercise routine will help ease this transition—both physically and mentally.
• Focus on Yourself– As regulations lift and businesses begin to open up, it’s important to listen to your own heart. If you’re uncomfortable with going out, it’s okay to give yourself more time to transition into your own new normal. Focus on yourself and what brings you peace.
Stay Safe at Maplewood Senior Living
Our Maplewood Senior Living communities are working hard to ensure the safety of all residents and associates remains a top priority. To learn more about our offerings or to schedule a virtual tour, please contact us.