Forever Young, and Also Over 60

16 Apr 2020

Published by the Washington State Department of Health on April 13

In Washington, 92 percent of the deaths from COVID-19 have occurred in people age 60 and over. People of any age can get COVID-19. In fact, 65 percent of the people who have tested positive in Washington are younger than 60. Most cases are mild, but, people age 60 and older are at higher risk of getting very sick or dying if they get COVID-19.

If you are age 60 or older, it is very important that you stay home and take care of yourself. Follow these steps to stay as healthy as possible.

Take care of your body

Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate. Eat nourishing foods, exercise regularly, and get plenty of sleep. These things protect your immune system.

Make time to unwind

Try to do some other activities you enjoy. Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories and social media about COVID-19. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.

Connect with others

Stay connected. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling. If you don’t know your neighbors or have someone who can pick up supplies for you, connect to your community by joining your local Nextdoor group.

Have a plan for if you get sick

CDC has a form on which you can list your current health conditions and treatments. If you have a caregiver, determine who can care for you if your caregiver gets sick.

Keep your medicine cabinet stocked

Be sure you have over-the-counter medicines and medical supplies (tissues, thermometer, etc.) to treat fever and other symptoms. Most people will be able to recover from COVID-19 at home.

Stay in touch with others by phone or email

You may need to ask for help from friends, family, neighbors, and community health workers if you get sick.

Stay home

Consider ways of getting medications and food brought to your house through family, friends, online shopping, mail-order, or delivery services.

Do you have more questions?

Gov. Inslee and Secretary of Health John Wiesman have started a question and answer mini-series for seniors to answer questions about how to stay healthy and maintain connection with loved ones. New episodes will air Thursdays at 6:00 p.m. If you would like to submit a question for future programs, email aarpwa@aarp.org. Please include “Spread the Facts” in the subject line. If you submit a short video of your question, you might appear on air as part of the program!

Practice compassion

If someone you love is over age 60, see if you can help them stay home by running important errands to pick up medications, groceries, or other supplies for them.

More information

Stay tuned to our blog for more information on how you can help stop the spread of COVID-19. Sign up to be notified whenever we post new articles.

Information in this blog changes rapidly. Check the state’s COVID-19 website for up-to-date and reliable info at coronavirus.wa.gov.

Answers to your questions or concerns about COVID-19 in Washington state may be found at our website. You can also contact our call center at 1–800–525–0127. Hours: 6 am-10 pm, seven days a week.

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