senior connections

The coast has gotten clearer, but stay informed

Column by Christy Recke
Posted 11/17/21

We have spent the better part of the last two years peeking our head out and waiting for someone to give us the all-clear. Is it safe to be out-and-about now? Do I wear a mask or not? What about …

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senior connections

The coast has gotten clearer, but stay informed

Posted

We have spent the better part of the last two years peeking our head out and waiting for someone to give us the all-clear. Is it safe to be out-and-about now? Do I wear a mask or not? What about vaccinations?

As we age, our health comes more acutely into focus as a tipping point for our decisions to travel, enjoy dinner out, or start a new activity. Chronic illness, medication management, the maze of health care choices, and navigating the medical establishment were already issues seniors faced. When the pandemic arrived on our doorstep in early 2020, the decisions were clear: stay at home, avoid any outside contact as much as possible, and wear your mask. But now, as vaccinations are readily available and the number of Covid cases decreases, we poke our heads out and ask, ‘Is the coast clear?’

The best answer for that is a very personal one. Educating yourself using reliable sources, asking questions and talking with your family and health practitioner, and deciding what is best in relation to your health situation will make those decisions easier. Reaching out to sources such as the Senior Center, the Clear Creek Resource Center, or Benefits in Action that can provide direction to clear and trustworthy information can also be a useful step to decrease the anxiety of wondering where to start. The end goal is creating a plan to bring things back to normal, whatever that may be for you, and making YOU feel safe.

If you want and are able, get vaccinated. If you choose not to or are unable to get the vaccine due to medical reasons, that is okay too. If you want to continue to wear a mask, do it. If you do not feel you need to anymore, do not. Those who have made it past the golden year of fifty, have seen things, been through things, and know all too well how to deal with all variety of life problems. Methods that you have gained through your years of experiencing the good, bad, and ugly of the developing world will be the first step in helping you begin to move ahead.

Start with something small. Take a drive with a loved one. Stop off and grab takeout from your favorite restaurant. Meet a close friend for a walk outside in our beautiful mountain area. Come and have lunch at the Senior Center; maybe even stay for a sing-along or board game. Whether you get vaccinated or not, the important thing is to take that first step of returning to life. Return to the activities and the people you love. It will help not just your physical health but have a positive impact on your mental, emotional, and spiritual health as well.

So yes, the coast is getting clearer, but take care of yourself and be kind to others. We are all struggling to figure this out. Just be a good person, love who you can, help where you can, give what you can, and be well.

Christy Recke MS, RN, CWCN is currently the manager of Project SupportSeniorCenter and Housing as well as their thrift store, Queen’s Wardrobe, all located in beautiful, downtown Idaho Springs. She has been a nurse for 25 years and holds a Master’s degree in Complementary and Integrative Health.  

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