As of the beginning of July 2020, nearly 1% of the United States population has been diagnosed with the coronavirus. Although a small portion of the country has been infected, many of the 2.9 million cases are older adults. Seniors can have weaker immune systems making them more vulnerable to the virus than a younger person. The majority of American seniors have at least one pre-existing condition, which makes fighting off the coronavirus difficult.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend everyone, but especially seniors, to practice social distancing as much as possible to stop the spread of the coronavirus. These are five things seniors should implement during the coronavirus pandemic that will help them practice social distancing.
1. Mail-order prescriptions
Currently, pharmacies are experiencing an influx of traffic. It’s best if seniors avoid high-traffic locations as much as possible. However, running to the pharmacy is a necessary errand for many seniors. Instead of calling in a refill to your local pharmacy, use your Part D plan’s mail order option to have your prescriptions mailed to you.
Most, if not all, Part D plans have a mail-order pharmacy that allows you to have your prescription dropped off at your front doorstep. Besides not having to drive to your pharmacy, another perk to the mail-order solution is that, for most medications, you can get a higher quantity, so you don’t have to refill as often. For example, instead of your normal 30-day prescription, you may be able to get a 90-day prescription if you use your plan’s mail-order pharmacy.
More often than not, you can access some savings when using the mail-order pharmacy rather than the local pharmacy. For example, when comparing preferred local and mail-order pharmacies, your copay for one tier two medication may go from $14 to $0. However, this depends on the plan, medication, and more.
2. Grocery delivery and curbside pick-up
You can also get your groceries delivered to your doorstep. Grocery delivery and curbside pick-up have grown more popular in recent years, but even more so during the pandemic. Taking advantage of these grocery services limits your exposure to people and frequently touched surfaces thus, limiting your exposure to the virus.
Almost every big grocery store chain offers these services at low or no cost. Not only will you be practicing social distancing when you use these services, but you’ll also free up more time for yourself that you would have spent standing in line at the grocery store.
3. Telemedicine visits
Prior to the start of the pandemic, Medicare started covering telemedicine visits for specific beneficiaries. Medicare has now improved its coverage for telemedicine services so that its beneficiaries can stay home as much as possible. Instead of making a face-to-face appointment with your doctor, ask if they are currently offering telemedicine visits. If they are, you can consult with your doctor via two-way video and audio right in your living room, and Medicare will cover it like a regular visit during the pandemic.
4. Facetime family meetings
Another way technology can help during the pandemic is by keeping you in touch with your family. Since many seniors are working hard to stay home, many are missing their families. If you can’t see your family, consider hosting a group family meeting via Facetime. Facetime family meetings are a perfect way to keep in touch with your loved ones while also keeping your distance.
5. At-home exercises
The COVID-19 disease has symptoms such as shortness of breath, fatigue, and body aches. One way to strengthen your lungs and heart while practicing social distancing is by exercising at home. The more you improve your lung and heart function, the better your body will handle the virus if you were to get it. Walking or jogging around your backyard and doing yoga routines in your living room are two great ways to improve lung and heart health.
Social distance recommendations
With everyone giving recommendations on what you should and shouldn’t do, it can be hard to know which advice is best for you. Trust your doctors and the CDC’s recommendations. Social distancing is one of the easiest ways to try and avoid the virus as much as possible. If you do get exposed, however, Medicare covers the test and treatment for coronavirus. But in the end, it’s better to be safe than sorry.