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Adhere to CDC Guidelines for Senior Safety at Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is going to look much different for most of us this year, thanks to COVID-19. This nasty virus has infected millions of Americans, and it has killed hundreds of thousands. It has disrupted our lives and up-ended our annual plans to share this special holiday of gratitude with our loved ones.

In the midst of a national resurgence of coronavirus cases, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has released their recommended holiday guidelines we should all follow this Thanksgiving to prevent the spread of the virus.

As you and I make holiday plans, the first thing we must do is assess the COVID risk within our families, our communities, and our state. Florida cases are trending up, like the majority of other states, so out of an abundance of caution, the CDC recommends limiting the number of family members who gather to celebrate, and make sure everyone wears masks and practice social distancing.

Outdoor celebrations are best, which is much easier since we live in the Sunshine State! Indoor gatherings pose a greater risk of transmitting and contracting the virus. If weather or other circumstances do not permit outdoor dining, try to improve indoor ventilation by opening doors and windows.

Try to shorten the duration of the holiday gathering. The longer people are together, the risks of the virus spreading increases.

“The size of a holiday gathering should be determined based on the ability to reduce or limit contact between attendees, the risk of spread between attendees, and state, local, territorial, or tribal health and safety laws, rules, and regulations,” according to the CDC.

Tell them you love them on the phone or virtually, but restrict the number of travelers coming from communities where coronavirus is spreading. “Higher levels of COVID-19 cases and community spread in the gathering location, or where attendees are coming from, increase the risk of infection and spread among attendees,” says the CDC.

This list indicates what the CDC considers low-, moderate- and high-risk activities, as reported by Bay News 9:

Low Risk

  • A small dinner with only people in your household
  • Preparing food for your friends and neighbors and delivering it with minimal contact
  • A virtual dinner with friends and family
  • Shopping online the day after Thanksgiving rather than in person
  • Watching parades, sports, or movies at home

Moderate Risk

  • A small outdoor dinner with family and friends from your community
  • Visiting pumpkin patches or orchards where people use hand sanitizer, wear face masks, and practice social distancing
  • Attending a small outdoor sports event with safety precautions in place

High Risk

  • Shopping in stores prior to, on, and following Thanksgiving
  • Attending a crowded parade
  • Using drugs or alcohol, which could cloud judgment and lead to riskier behavior
  • Attending large indoor gatherings with people from outside your household

Obviously, people who have COVID-19; are presenting symptoms of COVID-19; have possibly been exposed to COVID-19; are waiting for COVID-19 test results, or are at greater risk of severe illness if they were exposed to COVID-19; should NOT attend holiday gatherings.

Those at greater risk of severe illness, including the most vulnerable senior population, should avoid gathering with anyone who doesn’t live in their household; as well as, large gatherings of any kind.

In an interview with CNN, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said, "Some people in this country are going to be able to have a relatively normal type of a Thanksgiving, but in other areas of the country, it's going to be, 'You better hold off and maybe just have immediate family, and make sure you do it in a way that people wear masks, and you don't have large crowds of people.’”

I feel bad that so many seniors, who would normally be included in Thanksgiving preparations, meals and activities with family and friends, may be relegated to spending the holiday alone. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

If a Home Helpers® caregiver can safely help you or your senior loved one with grocery shopping, meal preparation and/or companionship and lift your spirits this holiday season, please contact me for a FREE consultation today, so I can assess specific needs and find the perfect caregiver for whom you will be most thankful!

We, at Home Helpers® Clearwater, are honored to have received the Home Care Pulse – Best of Home Care® Provider of Choice Award for 2017, 2018, 2019 & 2020. We proudly serve male and female seniors in Clearwater, Dunedin, Palm Harbor, Safety Harbor, Tarpon Springs, Holiday, New Port Richey, Trinity, Port Richey, Hudson and surrounding areas. Home Helpers®…we are Making Life Easier℠ 727.942.2539



Spectrum News/Bay News 9