It feels like this whole shelter-in-place thing has lasted forever, doesn't it? Students have now been out of school for the equivalent of an entire summer break. Here in central Virginia, summer has not actually even started! In fact, kids will have spent a full 6 months between their last day of in person school and the first day in the fall. And that assumes that they will even go back in a "normal" way this September. While most seniors don't have to deal with students in school, the whole situation presents its own set of challenges for older members of our community. So far, we've talked about embracing technology to stay in touch and cultural opportunities to keep yourself occupied while at home. This post will focus more on protecting yourself, even as localities loosen stay-at-home orders.
Protect Yourself from Scams
First, seniors need to be aware of those trying to scam them during this time. Sadly, seniors tend to be targeted more often by scammers, and the pandemic has giving them more opportunity to try and take advantage. For this reason, seniors cannot let down their guard. According to Senior Living, scams include fake charities, people posing as government agencies, and more. The FTC recommends the following steps for seniors when making decisions during this time:
- Take your time. Don't allow yourself to be rushed into any decisions.
- Check it out. Research any organizations or individuals who contact you.
- Talk to others. Run any decisions past a trusted friend or loved one before acting.
- Stay informed. Sign up for Consumer Alerts through the FTC.
- Report suspicious behavior. You can report any scams that present themselves to the FTC at this link.
We've prepared this image that you can send to loved ones or share on social media to keep them informed. You can click the image to view a larger version.
Protect Your Health
With many states, including Virginia, easing orders to stay home, it can be tempting to feel like the threat has passed. Remember: Seniors are among the most at risk for complications and death from Covid-19. Here are a few things to remember.
Safer at Home
While the governor has moved the entire state into phase one of the reopening process, he has still clearly stated that Virginians are safer at home. This holds especially true for those who are older or have underlying health issues. Right now, you should continue to stay home as much as possible and allow friends or loved ones to run errands for you. The less time you spend in public, the less likely you are to contract the disease.
Wear a Mask
If you must go out, wear a mask or appropriate face covering. Controversy over this has reared its ugly head, but if it has even a little chance of keeping you or a loved one safe, it's worth it. As of May 29, the Virginia governor has mandated that anyone going to an indoor public place wear a mask.
While social media serves as a great tool to stay in touch with loved ones, it may not be the best tool right now for reliable information. Make sure that the news you consume comes from reliable sources.
Seniors Helping Seniors Greater Richmond remains committed to being a reliable source of information and assistance for your family. If you need any help caring for your aging loved one during this time, we urge you to contact us.