A new school year will begin in about a month! Students and teachers are gearing up for another stretch of classroom studies and activities. As a result, this isn’t a time of year when many people consider the needs of seniors. But that is a mistake. There are numerous concerns for older adults during back-to-school season, particularly if they have grandchildren. What can they do to safely navigate the months to come?
Contend with social isolation and loneliness.
For many grandparents, the back-to-school season is one that is synonymous with loneliness. With the kids out of the house for the majority of the day, many seniors can begin to feel isolated. This is especially true for those who have limited social interactions outside of their family units. One way to battle isolation is to participate in local senior centres, clubs, hobby groups or community events. They can all offer opportunities to meet new people and engage in meaningful activities.
Don’t assume social isolation for seniors is a small issue. The Canadian Coalition For Seniors’ Mental Health reports that social isolation and loneliness among older adults have been linked to an increased risk of stroke, coronary heart disease, dementia, cancer mortality and premature death. “Nearly one in five Canadians 65 years and older say they lack companionship,” reveals their website, “Nearly one-third of older Canadians are at risk of being socially isolated.”
Be mindful of traffic.
When students head back to school, there is a lot more traffic on the street. Of course, with more traffic on the street, there is a greater risk of injury for slow-moving seniors navigating their neighbourhoods. With the influx of school buses, student drivers and increased pedestrian traffic around schools, older adults need to be extra cautious when navigating roads and crosswalks to avoid accidents.
“The best way to protect yourself as a senior pedestrian is to make sure you always cross at designated intersections only, preferably with a traffic light and crosswalk,” informs the Ottawa Safety Council, “While waiting to cross, stay on the sidewalk whenever possible. If the street doesn’t have a sidewalk, be sure to stay well to the shoulder and always walk on the side of the road that faces traffic.”
Take necessary health precautions.
Seniors often have compromised immune systems or chronic health conditions. In many cases, they are more susceptible to illnesses that children can bring home from school. It’s important for older adults to stay informed about health risks and take necessary precautions to stay healthy. Given the fact that we’ve all been coping with COVID-19 for the past few years, it’s vital that we all take safety measures at home to keep elderly inhabitants healthy.
On Healthline.com, Valencia Higuera reminds seniors that some supplements help support a healthy immune system. They include vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium, vitamin B12 and calcium. She goes on to encourage older adults to wash their hands regularly. “It’s possible to become ill if you touch a virus-covered surface and contaminate your hands, and then touch your face,” she warns, “Wash your hands with warm soapy water for at least 20 seconds.”
Might your aging parent require the use of any mobility solutions to navigate through back-so-school season safely? If so, please don’t hesitate to call LifeCare Mobility Solutions at 416-267-9800 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also contact us by filling out the form on our Contact page!