The US is slowly returning to normalcy after vaccinating a majority of its population. However, millions of people in the US are still struggling to resume their normal life after dealing with physical, emotional, and cognitive challenges for more than a year due to the COVID19 pandemic. They have missed their daily activities and have isolated themselves from their loved ones. Older adults have been dealing with a number of issues such as muscle weakness, anxiety, disrupted sleep, and social isolation even when the pandemic seems to wane away. Health experts have said that these issues need to be addressed properly otherwise older people will be facing prospects of poorer health and elevated frailty. Many health experts have come up with a wide range of advice that can help elderly and older adults to restart their daily activities with ease. They have said that a huge number of older adults have delayed their medical treatment due to the fear of the virus during the pandemic. Now, when most senior citizens have been fully vaccinated against COVID19, they should reschedule their visits to their primary health care providers. Chief Medical Officer of the Commonwealth Care Alliance in Massachusetts, Dr. Robert MacArthur has said that they should book their appointments for preventive care screenings such as mammograms, dental cleaning, eye test, and hearing screening. An expert in geriatric rehabilitation Jonathan Bean has said that primary care visits should find how older patients are doing physically. He is also the director of the New England Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center. Dr. Bean has said that doctors need to check if older patients are able to walk properly or if there is a change in the way, they perform daily tasks.
Health experts have said that if older people are finding it hard to walk or move around they should seek a referral to an occupational therapist. A physical or occupational therapist can help them with building stamina, strength, balance, and motion. A physical can help these people perform their daily tasks correctly. Health officials have said that older people need to be realistic about their current abilities. Usually, older people are more interested in going out and doing what they have been doing earlier, but realistically after being inactive for more than a year, they might not be able to do it. Nina DePaola, who is the vice president of post-acute services for Northwell Health has said that it will take time for older people to get in shape. Northwell Health is one of the largest health care providers in New York. She has said that these people should do anything that can cause discomfort or pain. Health experts have said that indulging in easy physical activities such as taking a walk in the park and doing chair exercises at home might help these older people get back on track. People who have been dealing with the aftermaths of the pandemic and psychological trauma should try easy exercise for the first time and then gradually increase the level to see how they feel. Such type of repeated exposure to physical activities might be a good way to deal with residual fear and hesitancy.
Health experts have said that older people should be taking a balanced diet that should incorporate a good amount of protein. They have claimed that sufficient intake of protein is crucial for older adults who dealing with stress and leading a sedentary lifestyle. Dr. Lauren Beth Gerlach has said that having a routine that includes virtual or in-person social interactions, various activities, and some time outside when the weather is pleasant is quite essential for old people. Dr. Lauren Beth Gerlach is a geriatric psychiatrist and an assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Michigan. Routines are important for older people who are dealing with cognitive decline, said the expert. She has said that the End-of-day routines can help address sleep issues as well that have become quite prevalent during the pandemic. A survey that has been conducted by experts from the University of Michigan has shown that around 19 percent of adults who have been in the age group of 50 to 80 years have reported having worse sleep during the pandemic as compared to the pre-pandemic era. Around 28 percent of them have said that they have been dealing with elevated levels of anxiety, stress, and sadness during the pandemic. Such mental health issues as well have worsened the condition of older people. Experts have said that older people should start shoring up social support. Family members as well can play a crucial role in engaging elderly members of the family by spending more time with them.