HOBBIES ARE GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH

Do you have a hobby? Hobbies can give meaning and purpose to your life in retirement. As Robert Putnam points out in his book, Bowling Alone, it’s easy to discount the importance of hobbies and social engagements. Putnam details the widespread decline in civic engagement, from PTA memberships to neighborhood potlucks and bowling leagues. Over a couple of generations, Americans have misplaced the concept of free time.

SPECIAL PLANS FOR YOUR SPECIAL PEOPLE

Lily is a beautiful, active and full of personality toddler who happens to have Down syndrome. Lily’s parents and I have been friends for years and I have the continuing pleasure of watching Lily and her siblings grow up. While Lily is becoming a physical therapy rock star and hitting all her milestones in a timely fashion, her parents have started planning for the future.

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WHY WE ENJOY OUR HOBBIES

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a hobby as “a pursuit outside one’s regular occupation, engaged in especially for relaxation.” Hobbies include anything from playing a musical instrument to gardening, bird watching or sewing. A hobby is a way of focusing on something you enjoy just for the sake of that enjoyment. It may also be a way to clear your mental palette. You could be stressed out by a situation at work or the challenges of raising children and need an escape.

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leave your packages on the front porch or doorstep instead of bringing them inside.


If you have symptoms of COVID-19 and want to get tested, call your healthcare provider first – do not go to the hospital or emergency room. If your test is negative, you may not have been infected at the time your sample was collected. But that does not mean you will not get sick later. It is possible you were very early in your infection when your sample was collected and you could test positive later, or you could be exposed at another time and then develop illness.


Be sure to stay in touch with friends and family by phone or email. Many care facilities are helping residents use Facetime and Zoom to let them “see” their families. And many doctors are offering telemedicine visits with their patients. Ask your health care providers if this option is available through their offices.


We want all our readers to stay healthy and safe and keep Living Well 60 Plus. Please be sure to follow the CDC’s guidelines and take care of yourself. For more information, visit the CDC’s Web site at www.cdc.gov.

From the onset, experts warned senior adults age 65 years and older are at higher risk for contacting COVID-19. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people who live in nursing homes or long-term care facilities, as well as those with serious underlying medical conditions, are also at higher risk for developing severe illness from COVID-19. Many seniors fit both criteria.


Seniors need to be aware of the symptoms of COVID-19. These include fever, cough and shortness of breath. Contact your primary care provider if you develop any of these. Emergency warning signs include persistent pain or pressure in the chest; these symptoms require immediate attention. Older adults with COVID-19 have several atypical symptoms. The disease sometimes causes changes in the central nervous system, making physicians think the patient has had a stroke. Seniors with the virus may not act like their usual selves. They may sleep more than usual or stop eating. Because so many people are currently sheltering in place and doing these very things, these symptoms may be overlooked. Affected seniors may seem unusually apathetic or confused or dizzy. Other atypical symptoms include delirium, lethargy, low blood pressure, painful swallowing, diarrhea, nausea, ab- dominal pain and the loss of the senses of smell and taste.


Older bodies respond differently to illness and infection. Seniors may not be able to regulate their temperature as well as younger people.

SENIORS ARE AT HIGHER RISK FOR CORONAVIRUS

They may get weak and dehydrated. And underlying chronic illnesses can mask or interfere with signs of infection. If you are the caretaker of an older adult, these are important factors to be on the lookout for. Discuss these concerns with the person’s primary care provider. Be vigilant about who comes to their home and make sure anyone who does visit has proper personal protective gear (masks, gloves, etc.).


The CDC’s recommendations for sheltering in place, washing your hands often and practicing physical distancing are especially important for older people. You should stock up on your medications since you will probably not be able to visit your pharmacy until closing bans are eased or lifted. Some pharmacies are offering delivery and drive-through service to fill prescriptions. You can also order some medications on line or by mail.


If you were not able to stock your pantry before stay-at-home orders were implemented, be aware that many grocery stores these days offer services where you can order what you need through their Web sites and pick them up later. You can ask a friend or family member to do your grocery shopping, too. They should

TANYA J. TYLER





Tanya J. Tyler is the Editor of Living Well 60+ Magazine