The last place anyone wants to be is cooped up inside, especially when we know spring is waiting—with its warm weather and sunshine—right outside our front door.
Unfortunately, because the coronavirus is all around us in St. Louis, meeting up with family or going shopping is not only discouraged, it’s downright dangerous for older adults. Social distancing is essential. While the monotony of staring at the same four walls and the uncertainty of the future can leave us filled with dread, it’s important to find joy and happiness in the things we are able to do.
- Shop from home. Although many grocery and big box stores in St. Louis have senior shopping hours, it’s still best for older adults to stay at home. Instead of heading out, use an app like Instacart or Peapod to shop and have your groceries delivered. Be sure to ask your personal shopper to leave all groceries on your front porch, and when you do bring them inside, be sure to disinfect all packaging.
- Find your Zen. If the unknown leaves you feeling anxious, take a few minutes each day to relax and meditate. Deep, steady breathing can slow your racing heartbeat and stabilize your blood pressure. Listen to a guided meditation video on YouTube or download one of the many meditation apps, like Calm or The Mindfulness App.
- Get your workout on. One way to fend off anxiety is to get up and move. If you are able, go out for a walk in the sunshine once a day—just be sure to practice safe social distancing of at least six feet. At home, follow a yoga video online and join an exercise class through a workout app. Or, check out the free live classes St. Louis gyms and yoga studios are currently offering on Facebook.
- Catch a show. When you feel like you’ve watched everything you can on TV, look up your favorite musician’s social media pages—many artists are holding live and recorded concerts during this time. If you’re a musical fan, BroadwayWorld offers clips from your favorite shows and performances from Broadway’s best on their Twitter feed.
- Take a tour. No matter your interests, you can take a virtual vacation from home. The National Park Service leads online tours of its most popular parks, while Google Arts and Culture houses virtual collections from 2,500 museums and galleries across the globe. Even St. Louis attractions are in on the fun—for example, the Louis Aquarium hosts virtual visits on Facebook every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.
- Visit with friends and family. While you can’t visit in person, you can still see your loved ones anytime you want! Zoom allows you to video chat on your computer or smartphone with family members for 40 minutes at no cost. If you have a Gmail account, try Google Hangout to visit online. Or, use FaceTime through your iPhone to connect. There are a number of videos on YouTube to help you configure your chats, or just reach out to your grandkids to get you set up!
- Listen and read. If you’re a book lover, check out the digital options from your local library. For instance, the Louis County Library offers both Hoopla and Kanopy, which allow cardholders to listen to audiobooks, stream movies and check out eBooks. To support your local St. Louis bookstores, you can purchase audiobooks through Libro.fm and print copies through Bookshop.org—both of which give a portion of every sale to your favorite independent retailer.
- Make a difference. When the world feels chaotic, reaching out to help others can help you regain a sense of control. If you have the materials available and are able, sew face masks for medical professionals in need. Send a card to a friend in a nursing home. Donate to a Louis charity that helps our neighbors most at risk. Consider fostering an older dog from a local animal rescue group. Even the smallest kind gesture can make a huge impact in our community.
Want more information on navigating life and social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic in St. Louis? Every Thursday at 12 p.m. CST, AARP hosts live Coronavirus Information Tele-Town Halls that cover a range of topics to fighting against coronavirus geared specifically toward senior citizens. Just visit www.aarp.org/health/conditions-treatments/info-2020/tele-town-hall-coronavirus.html to join the conversation.
All of us at AccuCare Home Health Care in St. Louis wish you the best for you and your families in the weeks to come. If you ever have any questions on how the coronavirus might affect your homebound family members, please feel free to contact us at 314-692-0020.