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Remaining Connected as the Pandemic Continues

Nearly four months into the COVID-19 pandemic, many older adults are struggling to adjust to a new normal and wondering what it means for their future. Regardless of where your community is in terms of opening, closing, or infection rates, here are some tips for keeping yourself safe and healthy—physically, mentally, and financially.

Maintain your physical well-being

Many doctors’ offices are open again for appointments. But if you feel uncomfortable with in-person visits, know that telemedicine services are widely available to help with acute care concerns. These can take place via telephone, video conferencing, and email. Just remember that symptoms like chest pain, numbness, and difficulty breathing can be symptoms of a possible emergency. Don’t be afraid to call 911 and seek immediate medical attention.

As the days are longer and hotter, remember to stay hydrated. Stay physically active if you can, and drink water, eat nutritious foods, and get proper sleep to ensure you’re energized and feeling good.

Keep your mental health in check

Having to stay indoors can be taxing on your mental health. Get tips from our Aging Mastery Program® to stay active and avoid social isolation.

One way to engage your mind is finding alternatives to activities you’d normally be doing. If you’re mourning the inability to travel this summer, consider a virtual trip instead. Road Scholar—which sponsors educational travel for older adults—is providing a series of free virtual learning lectures that offer glimpses of far-flung places as well as cooking and history lessons.

Volunteering also can give you a mood boost. VolunteerMatch has listings of thousands of online opportunities you can do from your own home, such a tutoring/mentoring children, making birthday cards, and lending professional expertise to a wide range of organizations.

Give yourself a financial checkup

The pandemic has left many people struggling to afford everyday costs. If you’re among them, use NCOA’s free, confidential BenefitsCheckUp® tool to see if you qualify for help with paying for health care, food, housing, and more.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau also has helpful resources for managing your finances, including options for mortgage and student loan relief, tips for mobile banking, and advice on how to plan for an uncertain future.

Fraudsters are taking advantage of COVID-19 to exploit older adults for money and personal information. Stay on the lookout for some of the most common scams making the rounds, and tell your family and friends to avoid them, to help keep everyone safe.

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About Brandy Bauer

Brandy Bauer is Associate Director of NCOA's Center for Benefits Access, where she educates both aging network professionals and consumers about Medicare and opportunities to improve seniors’ economic outlook, including through public benefits, community service employment, financial education, and using their home equity wisely.

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