Posts By: icepickdev

Ten COVID Scams Older Adults are Falling for Right Now

Across the country, federal and local law enforcement agencies are warning older adults about COVID-19 scams and requesting personal information or making false promises about COVID-19 cures and test kits.

Corewood wants to make you aware of these coronavirus scams. We also want you to know that experts believe the number of new schemes will only increase over the coming months. Some of the most common scams include:

  • Individuals selling treatments for COVID-19 vaccine, cure, or insurance.
  • Online sales of high demand medical supplies such as N 90 or N95 masks.
  • Phishing calls, text messages, or emails from national or global health authorities asking for personal and/or financial information.
  • Calls or emails requesting contributions for obscure COVID-19 treatments.
  • Appeals for donations for individuals affected by COVID-19.
  • Unofficial COVID-19 apps and downloads that can potentially compromise a person’s computer or phone with malware.
  • Financial planners alleging they have “inside information” to prevent, detect, or cure COVID-19.
  • Scammers calling as contact tracers claiming the individual has been exposed to COVID-19 and needs to act quickly. They then request the person’s social security numbers, insurance information, or advanced payment for bogus COVID-19 tests.
  • Calls claiming to be from the Social Security Administration (SSA), claiming that benefits will be interrupted unless the caller provides their social security or bank account number.
  • Scammers impersonating bank employees who claim that banks are falsely limiting access to funds or alleging security issues with bank deposits.

Top TEN Tips for Avoiding COVID-19 Scams:

  • Discount claims about COVID-19 vaccine, cure, or treatment.If there is a medical discovery, it wouldn’t be reported through unsolicited emails or online ads.
  • Depend on official sources for current information on COVID-19.Review your state’s health department websites, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or the World Health Organization for the latest developments.
  • Know that the safest place for your money is in the bank—your funds are physically secure and federally insured, something you don’t have when your money is outside the banking system.
  • Be on guard for phishing scams.  Do not click on links, pop-up screens, or open any attachments from sources you don’t know. NEVER share your password, account number, or PIN with anyone.
  • Investigate before donating. Be circumspect about any individual, charity, or business requesting COVID-19-related donations in cash, by wire transfer, gift card, or through the mail.
  • Keep your computers and mobile devices up to date. Using the latest security software, web browser, and operating system are your best defenses against viruses, malware, and other online threats. Turn on automatic updates to get the newest fixes.
  • Avoid bogus website links. Hackers embed malicious links into devices by tricking you into downloading malware or route users to bogus websites. Fraudulent links are often disguised by simple changes in the URL, such as www.ABC-Bank.com vs. ABC_Bank.com.
  • Enable multi-factor authentication for critical financial accounts. Multi-factor authentication is a second step to verify who you are. This often means you will receive a text message to verify your status before gaining access to a site.
  • There is a high potential for fraud presently. Be leery of any company claiming the ability to prevent, detect, or cure coronavirus.
  • Help others by reporting coronavirus scams. Contact the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at ic3.gov to report suspected or confirmed scams. The Federal Trade Commission also provides an updated list of the latest coronavirus scams at ftc.gov/coronavirus.

Have questions? Feel free to contact Mary Ann Buckley, Director of Care Management, at maryann@corewoodcare.com. We’re here to help.

Is it time to get a vaccination?

2020 has brought us a wider variety of topics of conversation. 

Case in point! While having a social distancing get-together with 2 of my friends in a parking lot, one friend asked if we were up to date on our vaccines. She showed us that she got the flu shot in one arm and pneumonia shot in the other arm. My other friend had the flu shot and shingles shot already. We are all in our 60’s and I didn’t expect this to be a hot topic to discuss, but it was informative and interesting. 

We all seem to have the flu shot on our minds, you drive by grocery stores, pharmacies and signs are posted that welcome you in get the shot. Turn on the TV and you can hear the warnings on the news; urging us all to get the flu shot this winter.  We are cautioned on ways to protect ourselves from not only the flu but also Covid-19. What we do know is that we need to be up to date on medical recommendations and check in with our own Physicians. 

What my friends and I realized: you are never too old to get vaccinated. While we kept up to date on our children’s vaccinations, now we must keep up to date on our own.

The top 5 vaccinations recommended for adults by the CDC: 1. Annual flu 2. Pneumonia 3. Tetanus booster 4. Shingles and 5. Hepatitis A and B. The best advice is to speak with your own Primary Care Physician to discuss these vaccinations and follow their recommendations.

As we age, our immune system which helps us fight illnesses does not work as well as it used to when we were younger. We can control how we live our life: eat healthy foods, get regular exercise, get a good night’s sleep, and decrease our stress level to strengthen your immune system. Your Primary Care Physician will be able to recommend the best options for the dose and timing of these vaccinations based on your health history.

Vaccinations not only benefit our personal health, but it benefits our family members and other people in our lives. Keeping ourselves healthy and reducing exposure of illness to those we care about is important to all of us. Doing our part to reduce doctor office visits, hospital admissions, out-of-pocket medical costs and time away from family is key in 2020.

Costs of vaccinations? Most health insurances cover these preventive measures; be sure to check in with your specific insurance provider to find out.  

Stay healthy by speaking with your health care provider about vaccinations and add this topic to your list of great topics of 2020.  

Care Manager Success Story

Years ago, we were honored to help a woman decide a move from her home into a senior living community where her sister lived. The older sister was unrelenting in telling her younger sister to move to her community and as soon as possible. She told me it was reminiscent of childhood with her older sister bossing her around.

This situation was causing a rift in the sister’s relationship, and they both were stressed. The sisters went to the same Physician who learned of the disagreement from each sister’s viewpoint. He recommended a Care Manager to help the younger sister choose a senior community based on her desires, needs, and budget.

The Care Manager met with her and reviewed all her preferences for her ideal housing type to meet her needs now and in the future. She always visited her sister and enjoyed her community but was not sure it was the one for her.

The Care Manager identified three communities that met the younger sister’s preferences, and they toured all three with an open mind. They compared each community, even making a pro and con list, and discussed the long and short-term advantages.

In the end, the younger sister chose the senior community where her older sister lived, but it was only after she had the time to look at her options and make a decision that was best for her. She felt confident that the move was the right one for her and not what her older sister wanted her to make.

At times like this, a Care Manager can provide professional, impartial guidance and options to consider. The Care Manager also assisted the younger sister with all of the steps required to sell her home, downsize, pack/move, and settle into her new home at the senior community on a different floor than her older sister.

New to Care Management? How a Care Manager Works with Clients and their Families

Corewood’s Care Management team works with clients and their families on a wide variety of issues, health conditions, and family dynamics. You may not know about all we do, so please let me provide a brief overview of the most noteworthy tasks we undertake.

Determining Where an Older Adult Should Live

Every family’s situation is different. Some older adult clients are temporarily immobilized due to a fall or hospitalization, or one spouse has a condition that will worsen over time, such as Alzheimer’s. Can the spouse or caregiver help with bathing and dressing? Does the older adult need constant supervision or someone to check in on them occasionally?  The answers to all of these questions – and many more – will need to be taken into consideration when deciding where an older adult will live. Care Managers are trained to look for warning signs to determine if an older adult is safe living at home alone. Whether or not an older adult remains at home, there are concerns that the Care Manager will review to ensure safety.

  • Making a Home Safe – If an older adult is going to remain in at home, a Care Manager can recommend modifications to make the home safer.
  • Finding Senior Housing – If an older adult can no longer live independently, a Care Manager can assist with a move to a senior housing facility, such as assisted living or CCRC. Throughout the process, a Care Manager will evaluate a community based on the level of care a person needs now and in the future as well as consider their lifestyle.

Covering Your Legal Bases

If you, your spouse, or your parent were suddenly incapacitated, who has the legal authority to act on their behalf? A Care Manager works with older adults and their families to avoid legal red tape and make sure older adults have the right legal documents in place. They will recommend and work with an attorney to be sure there is a power of attorney, advance care directives, a will, and, if needed, guardianship.

Organizing Finances

Would you know what to do if you suddenly had to take over managing money and paying bills for your spouse or parents? Care Managers work with older adults and their families to be sure trusted individuals know where the essential paperwork is kept and how to access funds if need be. Care Managers also work with older adults to review long-term care insurance to help cover the cost for care as well as help them determine their eligibility for Medicare, Medicaid, or Veteran’s Assistance.

Managing Medical Care

Care Managers are often first called when there is a medical crisis. Care Managers are older adult’s front-line advocates who know the medical system, know the older adult, and can help provide the best care. Before a crisis occurs, a Care Manager knows an older adult’s full medical history, record all of the prescription medications, and have attended doctor visits with an older adult in the past. They know how to ask questions and bring up concerns with a doctor and can summarize and take notes of the encounter to be discussed afterward with all interested parties.

Talking About the Future

When an older adult is ill, plans for the future must be made. Holding a family meeting helps make sure everyone is informed and on the same page. Care Managers are often called upon to facilitate these difficult conversations that must take place. They work to ensure an open, honest conversation but are also prepared for resistance. The goal is to determine the older adult’s current needs, limitations, and concerns, and let them state their wishes for the future.

Coping with the Reality of Caregiving

The emotional and physical health of the lead caregiver is always a top concern for the Care Manager. They work to prevent burnout and isolation as well as provide relief time for the caregiver. A Care Manager may coordinate coverage so that the lead caregiver can get out to dinner, a movie, or a walk in the fresh air. Without such relief, the physical and mental toll can be heavy on the lead caregiver.

Care Managers are trained professionals who work with older adults to find support and resources to make their daily life more comfortable. They are especially helpful when family members live far apart because, as we age, it is imperative to have supporting eyes and ears available locally.

COVID 19 has shown that supporting an older adult is not a process that can be managed long-distance, even as in-touch as we are with cell phones, text messaging, and Zoom conferences. A relationship with a Care Manager can allow a spouse or children of an older adult to be the spouse or the children, while someone else manages the situation.

When a spouse or daughter is providing hands-on care, the quality time they have to be there emotionally for their spouse or parent is limited. A Care Manager can handle the difficult interpersonal issues, address the immediate problem, remain connected once the crisis passes, and get back involved as the situation requires it.

Preparing for a Pandemic and a Future Wave This Winter

Officials at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have warned that this fall we will most likely experience a second wave of COVID-19. Many health officials are suggesting that Americans prepare over the summer for the potential of widespread illness and more stay-at-home orders.

In case of an outbreak, what can older adults do to protect themselves and their families?

Here are recommendations for how to prepare now to be ready for another outbreak.

1.    What should I buy now to prepare?

The US Department of Homeland Security, before a pandemic strikes, store a two-week supply of water and food, as well as over-the-counter medications you tend to take.

Items to consider stocking up on for your pantry:

  1. Canned soup, vegetables, fruit
  2. Crackers, snacks
  3. Cereal/oatmeal
  4. Hand soap
  5. Paper towels
  6. Kleenex
  7. Lysol, Clorox wipes, laundry detergent
  8. Toilet paper: this goes without saying, right?
  9. Disposable gloves
  • Chocolate: This is my favorite, as a staple and a smile maker.

2.    What should I do about groceries if I can’t or should not go out this fall?

Many online grocery options have been overwhelmed during the recent COVID 19 pandemic. Nevertheless, many of these online options are gearing up on supplies, workers, and delivery options in preparedness for the fall. Consider joining and using the service now while demand eases off, so when ordering online becomes more popular again, you are already in the queue.

Some online shopping options to look into include:

  1. Peapod
  2. Fresh Direct
  3. Shipt
  4. Boxed
  5. Instacart
  6. Thrive Market
  7. Instacart
  8. Walmart Online Grocery Delivery
  9. Target
  10. Whole Foods

Another option to look into for grocery delivery is your local senior Village. A Village is a neighborhood-based nonprofit membership organization supported by volunteers that work to keep older adults living safely, comfortably, and act in their own homes. Some Villages are providing once weekly grocery delivery for full-time members. To learn more contact your local Village Network.

3.    What should I have in my medicine cabinet?

Before a pandemic, it is recommended to periodically check your regular prescription drugs to ensure you have a continuous supply in your home if needed.

Some additional suggestions you may want to consider obtaining, in consultation with your Primary Care Physician, include:

  • A list of all your medications, vitamins, supplements: keep this current
  • Thermometer: for your use, guest use, and/or caregiver.
  • Check with your doctor to see if you should have: Pulse Oximeter, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, throat lozenge, cough medicine, Pedialyte/Gatorade
  • First aid kit: band-aids, gauze pads, hydrocortisone, tweezers, nail clippers, q-tips. If you have been worried like me, you may be picking at your nails/have not been able to get out for a manicure.

 4.    What documents should I be sure to have access to if I need to go to the hospital?

We have learned that this virus has changed the way we had been living our life. Emergency rooms and hospitals have always welcomed family members and visitors to assist their patients in the healing and recovery of illness and surgery. That has not been an option with COVD-19. You will be alone in these settings without direct contact and touch with those you care for and about.

Lists/Documents to have in one place:

  1. Power of Attorney: make copies
  2. Advance Directive/Living Will
  3. Medication list: yes, I have it twice because it is that important
  4. List of phone numbers: Emergency Contact, Family members, Physicians, Neighbor
  5. Medical history, current diagnosis, past diagnosis, surgeries, allergies to food/ medications
  6. Copy of insurance cards: front and back
  7. Copy of Photo ID
  8. MOLST form if you have one
  9. Long term care policy information (if you have one)  

What to leave behind:

  1. Wedding rings
  2. All jewelry
  3. Watches
  4. Wallet and money

What to take:

  1. Glasses
  2. Hearing aids and batteries
  3. Dentures
  4. All documents listed below

5.    Stay informed:

If you have more questions about the Novel Coronavirus, stay up to date on the CDC’s website at www.cdc.gov

Experts agree that the most important thing you can do is not panic and stay informed.

It’s important now to plan and have a conversation with your family and/or the important people in your life about what you want to happen if you contract COVD-19. This will benefit not only you, but those close to you, and all the medical staff who will be taking care of you.

Meditation for Older Adults

For many families and their loved ones, COVID-19 has not only brought on fears of health, safety, and physical wellbeing but also has negatively impacted current living arrangements and relationships among families and loved ones. For older adults, living alone has become even more burdensome as social visits, fitness and exercise, physical therapy visits, and limitations to healthy food options have been limited if not non-existent. Families that have taken on caregiving duties for their loved ones have been experiencing increased anxiety, tension, and a decline in personal health. Meditation during this time has become more important for older adults, their families, and caregivers during this time.

Research supports the many benefits meditation can bring. Meditation can help memory, cognitive abilities, anxiety, stress, loneliness, depression, circulation, and digestion to name a few. The website U.S. News Health section supports these benefits. You can visit the website here U.S. News: Health

Below are a few tips for first-time meditators and beginners as well as different meditation techniques to try. Meditation can be an activity done at home alone or even virtually with your loved one. Start slow, 5 minutes, and build your way up to 15 minutes a day. The more you practice the easier meditation will become and the more beneficial it will be to your overall health.

The Basics

  1. Schedule 5 to 15 minutes of your day when you will not be distracted by others, phone calls, or other distracting noises. Think of meditation as a “daily vitamin” that you need to take for your health and let others in your household know you are going to meditate and cannot be bothered at this time. It is important for others in your household to appreciate and understand this time is important for you.
  2. Get comfortable. Either lay down or sit where your body feels relaxed. You do not need to be in the quintessential meditation poses if your body feels relaxed and comfortable then you are ready for meditation.
  3. Close your eyes and breathe! Breathe in deeply through your nostrils, filling your stomach with air, to the count of four. If able, hold for a count of four and then release your breath through your mouth to the count of 8. This may take some time to work up to. The idea of meditation is to clear your mind. Focusing on this breathing technique prevents any daydreaming and wandering of thought. Again, the more you practice meditation the more you can clear your mind easily and prevent your thoughts from wandering. Do not be frustrated with many different thoughts coming and going and the complete ability to stop them. This is natural. Just go back to focusing on your breathing and the repetition of the breathing technique
  4. Slowly open your eyes after your meditation has ended. It is also important to slowly move your body from the position you are in. Like waking from a deep night’s rest, let your body adjust back to the external stimulus.

Types of Meditation

Here are a few types of techniques and ways to meditate.

  1. Mindfulness Meditation

This relates to being present in your current situation. This type of meditation helps you feel grounded and secure in your current situation. Overthinking, worrying about the future, fears of the future, and appreciation of where we are and what we have is a focus of this meditation.

  1. Meditation for Anxiety

Imagery and guided meditation are very helpful for anxiety and stress. A trained instructor guides you in a calm voice on how to breathe and an imaginative situation to envision. Through their words and instruction, you can follow along and feel relaxed and at ease at the end of the meditation session.

  1. Meditation for Sleep

We are all aware of the physical and mental benefits of a good night’s sleep. Still, many of us can attest to needing more sleep and constantly not receiving enough. Personally, I have found that meditation, whereas I am waking 2-3 times throughout the night, is the best way to get back to sleep. I do this with Body Scan meditation techniques. First, I take 3-7 deep breaths using the breathing technique I mentioned above. Second, I start envisioning my feet and toes. Internally I tell my toes to relax. Sometimes I will clench and then relax. I then proceed with every body part I think of, moving slowly from my feet to my legs, from my torso to my neck, and so on. Each body part and area I tell to relax and envision these parts as being weightless. Chakra meditation puts these parts of the body into zones that you can also focus on through meditation. With the Body Scan technique, I am usually fast asleep by the time I reach my head.

By starting with 5 minutes a day and incorporating meditation into your daily schedule, you will be providing the many benefits stated above to not only yourself but the ones you love and care for as well. Meditation truly is a win-win!

What to Know Before Moving Parents from a Senior Community into Your Home During COVID-19

Throughout the DMV, senior communities are entering the fourth week of insulating their residents to protect them from COVID 19, and family members physically cut off from their loved ones are increasingly worried about their care and mental health.

While most geriatric professionals and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) urge the public not to panic and say it is unwise to bring loved ones home, many families are weighing the risk of a COVID 19 outbreak along with the impact that long-term isolation will have on their loved ones. They also worry that a frail older adult may not have the ability to fight COVID 19 and are seriously considering bringing them home.

At Corewood Care Management, we believe the decision to bring an older adult home is as individual as you and your parent. While we would not discourage a family from bringing a relative home from a senior community, it is critical to think about whether you’re prepared to provide the care that they need.

To help think through your choices, here are ten things to consider as you weigh the options of moving a parent out of their senior community and into your home.

  1. Have a conversation with your parents, learn their thoughts and wishes. Can they make an informed decision, do they share your concerns about COVID-19?

  2. Is this a temporary move or permanent? It is important to discuss, and expectations are established in advance.

  1. Relationship, roles, and intentions: Are you able to have honest discussions, share feelings? Does your parent still see you as a child? How do you handle disagreements?  Are you comfortable helping your parents in the bathroom?  

  2. Are you ready to be a caregiver and all that it entails? Do they expect you to be available to them 24/7?  Remember, they are used to pushing a call button for help.   

  3. Routine: Your parent likely has a routine in place that they are comfortable with, and you need to learn what that is including when they:

    1. Wake up, take naps, and go to bed

    2. Have meals and snacks (some have Happy Hour)

    3. Require a shower or bath

    4. Watch TV, especially their favorite shows and may want to leave the TV on all day.

    5. Activities that they like and how often do that they participate

    6. The time of day that they take their medications, with or without food. Do they need reminders, and require refills of their pillboxes

  4. Assistive devices that you will need to get in place before your parents come home:

    1. Raised toilet seat

    2. Shower bench, handheld shower

    3. Special bed

    4. Incontinence products, gloves, bed pads

    5. Are you able to assist or manage: change hearing aid batteries, clean dentures, clip finger, and toenails

  5. Health requirements. Understand all their health diagnosis and future issues. If your parent has relied on a Physician that is part of the community, you’ll need to find a new practitioner as well as obtain copies of their current medical files to share.

  6. Mental Health concerns such as anxiety, depression, anger. How would a move impact them emotionally? Consult with their Psychiatrist, counselor that treats them.

  1. Cognition and Memory considerations. Do they understand the current pandemic? How significant is their memory loss? Do they require reminders or 24/7 supervision? Are their safety issues, such as wandering?

  2. Remember, you must take care of yourself as well. Do you have the time to support your family at home that is now sheltering with you along with your parents? Are you the primary caregiver, or can you share some duties with your family members?

Having weighed the options and made the decision to bring your parents to your home, the next step is to consider support – for them and yourself. Many options can be utilized while your parents live in your home.

  1. Home Care provides certified nursing assistants that come to your home to care for your parents or help supplement their ADL (Activities of Daily Living) requirements. You can set a schedule that best meets your needs.
  2. Home visiting Doctor/Nurse Practitioner come to your home if it is difficult for your parents to get to an office location.
  3. Medication delivery.
  4. Medical equipment (listed in #6 above) can be delivered to your home.
  5. Grocery and meal delivery.
  6. Activities can be recreated at home so that your parents can enjoy doing what they did in their senior community. Play their favorite music. Technology can assist by allowing family members to visit via FaceTime. Use computers to play games, join in an exercise class, or attend religious services.  

This is a stressful time, all the more anxious with the concern about COVID 19’s impact on older Americans. If all of this seems overwhelming, take a deep breath and call Corewood Care to discuss the situation. We can talk about the options offered by Care Management and Homecare services. We offer both services. We can streamline the process and put into place the care that your entire family requires and the guidance you need.    

7 Helpful Answers About COVID-19

As the COVID-19 pandemic escalates, we are reminded repeatedly of what preventative measures to take. Social isolation, holding a 6-foot distance from others, and proper handwashing to name a few. However, like many I know, I have also wondered about other preventative measures to take in the new way of living we are all experiencing. Below are some tips that I have found helpful while isolating at home.

  1. Can the virus spread on paper or cardboard?

Many of us are using Amazon and Instacart as well as other delivery services for groceries and items to avoid in-person visits. We know the virus can spread through physical contact and through mucous membranes (eyes, mouth, nose), but what about other surfaces? The length of time the virus stays on surfaces does vary, however, the risk is of obtaining COVID-19 through commercial goods or packages is low, per the CDC.

  1. Can my pet transmit COVID-19 to me?

You may have heard the recent news of the Tiger at the Bronx Zoo testing positive for COVID-19. The tiger showed symptoms consistent with the virus. Animals and our domestic friends have been an important topic at hand as it relates to the virus. Many want to know if animals can transmit the virus to humans and vice versa. As it stands now, these reports and studies have concluded that animals can contract the virus from humans, however, it does not appear that humans can contract the virus from animals.

  1. What do I do if I don’t have an N-95 mask?

N95 Face masks are nearly impossible to find and if you do find them, it’s possible they are counterfeit. The N95 masks filter 95% of airborne particles. It is important to note that the masks are mainly to help persons wearing the masks to not transmit their germs to others. The importance of the mask diminishes once touched and should be removed and replaced with a new mask. Healthcare workers need these masks and are most knowledgeable on how to appropriately and safely wear them. Let’s leave the N95 masks for them and make our own. Below is a great video recently posted by the Surgeon General on how to make a face mask at home. A good rule of thumb is to make sure the fabric blocks out the sunlight from coming through. If you do reuse your mask, fold it inwards to prevent the outside from touching other surfaces and place it in a sealable bag.

Link to Video:

  1. My disinfecting supplies are running low. What should I do?

Groceries stores are limited in supplies, especially disinfecting products. Fully in the throes of the virus, personal supplies of disinfectant wipes and products will be running low. The EPA has a great website on other products to use as household disinfectants. Click Here. You can also dilute household bleach as an alternative!         

  1. Is drinking tap water safe?

As it stands now, yes. Per the CDC website, the virus has not been found in drinking water and should not be of concern at this time.

  1. Can the virus spread through produce I purchase?

COVID-19 is a virus causing respiratory illness. To date, there is no evidence suggesting the virus can be transmitted through food and food packaging. While we know that the virus can remain on surfaces and be transmitted, this is not believed to be the reason of the main factor of the virus spreading. Once the virus is airborne and is on a surface rather than a person, the percentage of the virus being transmitted from that surface diminishes greatly and becomes harder to be transmitted the longer it is in the environment. The FDA (The U.S. Food and Drug Administration) gives facts on the virus and how it relates to production. The website can be found here https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/food-safety-and-availability-during-coronavirus-pandemic.

  1. Which sources are the most reliable on information regarding COVID-19?

There are many websites, blogs, press releases, etc. sharing information on COVID-19. I am inundated with information and have often questioned which facts are true and which are opinions. Regarding general information on the virus, the CDC (Center for Disease Control) website is the best. However, the World Health Organization is reliable also. They have just implemented an alert system to bring the public facts on COVID-19. Check it out here https://www.who.int/news-room/feature-stories/detail/who-health-alert-brings-covid-19-facts-to-billions-via-whatsapp. Regarding your specific county and state interpretation of the virus, regulations, policies, and safety measures, it is best to go to the Department of Health. The Maryland Department of Health website and information resources can be found here https://health.maryland.gov.

COVID-19 and Social Isolation

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the new norm has been social distancing and, more recently encouraged, complete social isolation. As we well know, older adults are already a population that is vulnerable to social isolation. Prior to the virus, 60% of older adults over 75 years of age experience loneliness and social isolation. It can be expected that many of our older adults are experiencing significant increases in depression, declining physical health and wellbeing, and possibly an increase in dementia.

Here are some ways in which we can help our isolated older adults feel connected given the limitations on in-person socialization.

  1. Local Village Networks

Villages are local neighborhoods offering educational, emotional, social support, and much more for older adults living at home. Non-profit village networks are an excellent resource for our older adults living at home.

To find your local village, the website https://www.wavevillages.org/index.php/about-us/our-villages can help.

  1. Technology

Facetime, Zoom conferencing, Audiobooks, etc. are just a few ways for families to socialize with loved ones. Hoopla is an application that requires a library card number to gain access to a large database of audiobooks, e-books, and even movies. During this time, it is especially important for families to be taking part in Facetime/Skype/or Zoom to socialize with their loved one at home. For fitness, many applications are free and some are offering free exercise classes and mediation classes virtually. For older adults having trouble with technology, GrandPad is an easier device to navigate. Digital Library Cards can be obtained online at https://mcpl.link/DigitalCard and can be exchanged at any MCPL branch for a full-service library card once branches reopen.

  1. Therapy

Many Psychologists and Therapists are offering group and virtual therapies for free and are opening their virtual doors to the external community. For example, The Counseling Center of Maryland is offering free video sessions through Zoom.

  1. De-Clutter/Organize

Now is a great time to do some spring cleaning! Take the boxes of photos lying around and put them to use! Include some artwork, memorabilia, crafts, etc., and make a scrapbook for safekeeping. Share your new scrapbook with friends and family virtually or maybe start a Zoom conference for a Scrapbooking Club! Clean out your closets of clothes that you don’t wear and bag them for charity. Marie Kondo offers a Netflix series called “Tidying Up” that helps to identify what should stay and what should go. She also has an audiobook that is worth a listen!

During this unprecedented time, it is more important that not just families, but also neighbors and volunteers, come together to help our older adults living at home. It truly takes a village!

Healthy Food Options

Are you tired of your unhealthy eating habits?

Do you want to become a healthier person?

We’ve got a list of healthy food options for you!

  1. Fruits

We all know the health benefits of fruits. They are rich in vitamins and great for our health. So if you’re looking to eat healthily,  try any of the following fruits:

  • Apples
  • Strawberries
  • Avocados
  • Lemons
  • Pineapples
  • Blackberries
  • Grapefruit
  • Pears
  • Oranges
  • Bananas
  1. Eggs

Eggs are among the most nutritious foods because they are rich in nutrients like betaine that promote heart health. Eggs are also a great source of high-quality protein with the most protein found in the egg white. Egg whites contain vitamin B2 and are rich in selenium, vitamin D, B12, B6, and minerals like zinc and iron.

  1. Vegetables

Vegetables are among the most concentrated sources of nutrients. Doctors suggest eating a wide variety of vegetables every day, such as:

  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Onions
  • Tomatoes
  • Celery
  • Cucumber
  • Mushrooms
  • Cabbage
  1. Fish and Seafood

Fish and other seafood are considered to be “superfoods” because they are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and iodine. Here’s a list of healthy fish and seafood:

  • Salmon
  • Sardines
  • Shrimp
  • Tuna
  • Shellfish
  1. Meat

Another great source of protein is unprocessed meat, but many medical professionals suggest a limit to the portion and frequency of meat, including:  

  • Lean Beef
  • Chicken Breast
  • Lamb
  1. Grains

Grains are high in carbohydrates, so it’s wise to limit the amount consumed each day. Whole grains contain nutrients like fiber, iron, and magnesium and small portions should be part of your diet:

  • Brown Rice
  • Oats
  • Whole wheat pasta
  1. Dairy

Dairy is a healthy source of protein, calcium, and riboflavin. Recent studies show that full-fat dairy products help lower the risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes. Some options include:

  • Yogurt
  • Whole milk
  • Cheese
  1. Legumes

Legumes are rich in healthy fibers, yet they often have unpleasant side effects including gas and bloating, but it also leads to the formation of short-chain fatty acids, such as butyrate, which may improve colon health and reduce the risk of colon cancer. Consider incorporating the following legumes into your diet:

  • Green Beans
  • Kidney Beans
  • Lentils
  • Chickpeas
  • Soybeans
  1. Nuts and Seeds 

Several studies suggest that nuts help lower heart disease and stroke risk due to their benefits for cholesterol levels, “bad” LDL particle size, artery function, and inflammation. Nuts and seeds have been part of the human diet since Paleolithic times. A few nuts, such as almonds and walnuts, and seeds, namely flax, and chia, get most of the glory, but the fact is each nut and seed bring something beneficial to the table. While exact nutrient compositions vary, nuts and seeds are rich sources of heart-healthy fats, fiber, plant protein, essential vitamins and minerals, and other bioactive compounds, including an array of phytochemicals that appear to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

  • Chia Seeds
  • Peanuts
  • Walnuts
  • Almonds
  • Coconuts
  1. Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate is loaded with nutrients that can positively affect your health. Made from the seed of the cocoa tree, it is one of the best sources of antioxidants on the planet. Studies show that dark chocolate can improve your health and lower the risk of heart disease.

Now that you know all the healthy food options make sure that you include at least some of them in your daily diet.

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