Since the corona virus has engraved the whole world, the most affected population around world are the elderly. As soon as the data started coming in regarding the COVID-19, senior citizens are advised to stay at home to be safe.
As the world is opening gradually and adapting to live with the new normal. All of us has to adapt the safest way to live. Protection is better than cure. All of us need to follow all the guidelines and measures.
As far as elderly population is concern, its still not safe for them to go out. Hence, they need to readapt the to normal routine within home and stay happy and healthy.
Before pandemic, I had always encouraged the senior citizens to go for walk , go out and socialize.
Now, the circumstances have been changed, its recommended to
# Stay home
# Social distancing
With the new normal, maintaining physical and mental health is getting difficult for the world and especially, for the senior citizens.
With restricted movement elderly’s are not going for their walks, group classes are stopped, social clubs are closed, not catching up with friends in parks and café. This has affecting not only the physical but mental health too.
Home bound lifestyle is increasing,
- muscle-joint pain
- joint stiffness
- postural abnormalities
- body weight
- fatigue level
joint mobility, regular muscular activity and functional movement is especially important in daily routine to keep optimal level of physical health. Whereas meeting friends, socializing, and exploring around improve mental health. Due to various restriction most of these activities are restricted. It is the time for helping our elderly’s more than ever to keep them safe and healthy at same time.
Guideline to help senior citizen:
1. Tele medicine: do not get stressed for regular checkup. Go for telemedicine for your regular checkup, as recommended by your physician earlier.
2. Consult physiotherapist/ exercise expert: get online consultation with a physiotherapist and get a customized exercise plan according to your body need after doing thorough assessment.
Avoid following random exercises by accessing different sites online. It is very important to understand that especially in old age, there are preexisting condition, different physical capacity, random exercise plan affect adversely to various joint, muscles and physiological process. Hence do not hesitate to contact a physiotherapist for best suited exercises for senior citizen.
3. Make schedule of day: yes, make a schedule of day, restrict sitting or lying down for long hours. Too much mobile usage leads to dryness of eyes, muscle tightness and spine stiffness, try to avoid it. Divide your day in three part , morning hours – where you can give time to your breakfast, reading, prayers, etc, afternoon – lunch, pending work, exploring your old stuff, evening – tea time, snacks with family, connect with friends online, activities etc
4. Engage in activities – try to indulge yourself in activities you like, your hobbies, activity with family member.
5. Connect with friends online: if you are missing your routine of meeting friends, then best way is to do online meeting during the time you use to go out to meet them in normal days.
Do share these guidelines with the people around you and let’s generate hope, energy and positivity. Physical and mental health of senior citizens can be maintained being at home too.
Author: Dr. shubhangi Gaikwad, Senior Physical Therapist, Dubai
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