Older people are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 which may result in increased stress during a crisis.
Fear and anxiety about the COVID-19 pandemic can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions.
Things you can do to support yourself:
- Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories and social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.
- Take care of your body. Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep, and avoid alcohol and drugs.
- Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy.
- Connect with others. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.
- Call your healthcare provider if stress gets in the way of your daily activities for several days in a row.
- If you, or someone you care about, are feeling overwhelmed with emotions like sadness, depression, or anxiety, or feel like you want to harm yourself or others call
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA’s) Disaster Distress Helpline: 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746. (TTY 1-800-846-8517)
For more information, visit the CDC website.
Important reminder: Please call before visiting any of our facilities. For general questions about SMA, please contact our Access Center at 800-539-4228.
Take steps to protect yourself
Clean your hands often
- Wash your handsoften with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
- Avoid touchingyour eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid close contact
- Avoid close contactwith people who are sick
- Put distance between yourself and otherpeople if COVID-19 is spreading in your community. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
Take steps to protect others
Stay home if you’re sick
- Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care. Learn what to do if you are sick.
Cover coughs and sneezes
- Cover your mouth and nosewith a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
- Throw used tissuesin the trash.
- Immediately wash your handswith soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Wear a facemask if you are sick
- If you are sick: You should wear a facemask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. If you are not able to wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then you should do your best to cover your coughs and sneezes, and people who are caring for you should wear a facemask if they enter your room. Learn what to do if you are sick.
- If you are NOT sick: You do not need to wear a facemask unless you are caring for someone who is sick (and they are not able to wear a facemask). Facemasks may be in short supply and they should be saved for caregivers.
Clean and disinfect
- Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
- If surfaces are dirty, clean them: Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
For more information, visit the CDC website.
When we are faced with a crisis, anxiety is the immediate reaction and the antidote for anxiety is always control. Since we can’t control what is going to happen with the COVID-19 pandemic, we turn to what we can control and this is why we see people shopping; they feel as though they are doing their part by stocking up. These people are not selfish or bad people they are just scared and not thinking about their connection to others and their responsibility to their community, otherwise they would not react this way. Unfortunately the impact of social media driven communication is what has escalated the hoarding behavior, and then human instinct takes over due to fear of being without something, and that something in this case is toilet paper.
What people can do to ease their fear and anxiety is to ensure they are getting enough rest and eating a healthy diet, refrain from alcohol and mood altering substances, reduce or eliminate caffeinated drinks, take time for some type of exercise each day and when they feel intense fear and anxiety practice grounding themselves by tricking their brain to think about something else – what are three things you hear, three things you see that are pretty, close your eyes and feel the breeze or sun on your face and take slow deep breaths, and pray. The key is to refocus your thoughts, focus on your senses and relax your mind.
When residents are feeling confined at home due to forced social distancing or self-quarantine, they should make a daily to do list. Making a schedule and sticking to it will more closely resemble a work or school day giving them a sense of normalcy. Now is the perfect time to take care of all of the things that have been put off around the house – clean out that junk drawer, we all have them – go outside and do yard work, give the house a total spring cleaning, or for fun, start that hobby you’ve been interested in but never seem to get to. Most importantly if someone becomes depressed or emotionally distressed call for help, there are people who care and will help you. During these unsure times, SMA Healthcare remains open to continued services that our clients expect and need. If someone needs help they can reach out to our access line 24/7 – 1-800-539-4228.
SMA Healthcare remains committed to providing care to its clients. Knowing the risks and concerns of face-to-face meetings, and to keep in line with social distancing, SMA is extending its offering of eCare services – SMA’s telehealth services, which utilizes easy-to-use technology in order to provide personal care, no matter where you are. If you have questions, contact your SMA rep, call our Access Center (800-539-4228) or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
At SMA Healthcare, the Safety of our Clients and Employees is our uncompromising priority, and we are closely monitoring the coronavirus (COVID-19). We are engaging daily with the Florida Department of Health and other government agencies to ensure that we implement the best policies to protect everyone as the situation evolves. Currently, SMA has not canceled or suspended any services or programs due to the current situation, however, visitation to select facilities has been restricted. If you are planning a visit to an SMA facility, please contact that facility for their current policy regarding visitations.
Of course, if needed, we will quickly announce any adjustments to our procedures or operations through our social media outlets so that you can maintain confidence that SMA is doing all we can to keep you and your family safe. Please check back often for updates.