The holiday season is often one filled with joy and celebrations of all kinds. Families and friends come together to celebrate, spend quality time with one another, and exchange presents on Christmas. However, with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, a great number of traditional holiday festivities are unsafe to hold this year.
When too many people are gathered in an area, especially in an enclosed space indoors, it can be easy for the coronavirus to spread to others. But just because modifications need to be made to ensure people’s safety this holiday season does not mean you cannot still enjoy Christmas.
Continue reading to learn more about how you and your loved ones can stay safe from COVID-19 this Christmas.
1. Limit Celebrations to Members of Your Household
Ideally, your Christmas celebrations should be limited to you and the other people who reside in your household. This can mean the family members who live with you at home or non-relatives with whom you share an apartment. Household members would not include any college students or other family members returning home from school or for the holiday season.
This recommendation will limit the potential for spreading COVID-19.
If you do celebrate with people outside of your household, then the chance for spreading coronavirus increases to varying degrees. The amount of risk is dependent on several factors: local COVID-19 levels, travel and exposure, number of attendees, gathering location and duration, and more. For example, if people from areas with a high number of cases celebrate with you, the risk for spreading coronavirus at the gathering increases.
Anyone who has COVID-19 or has been exposed to a person infected with COVID-19 should especially not attend any Christmas get-togethers and celebrations.
2. Hold Virtual Gatherings
Given the recommendation that you should only celebrate Christmas in-person with other members of your household, it is likely you will be without certain loved ones you are used to spending the holidays with. This can make for a less joyful Christmas, but you can consider having a virtual gathering with them.
Schedule a time to have a Zoom gathering with your family and friends. Alternatively, throughout the day, have different video calls with your loved ones who cannot be with you to maintain a connection this holiday season.
3. Distance Yourselves and Mask Up
If you will be having non-household members with you for Christmas, then prioritize safety by practicing social distancing and wearing masks.
People from different households should maintain a distance of six feet or more. Whenever someone is not eating or drinking, they should be wearing an appropriate face mask or covering. The mask should be covering both one’s nose and mouth. Also avoid hugs, handshakes, and other forms of direct contact.
The host of the gathering should consider having spare face masks and extra soap and hand sanitizer readily available if needed. This will make it easier for everyone to remain safer this Christmas.
4. Improve Ventilation for Indoor Gatherings
If the weather permits, open windows and doors to increase the ventilation in your home. This will help limit the potential for the coronavirus to spread. However, this improved ventilation does not mean people no longer have to wear masks or social distance. Ventilation is simply an additional safety measure that should be taken if possible.
Given the fact Christmas occurs in the winter, chances are most holiday events will take place in climates that are too cold to have open doors and windows. In such a case, you can improve indoor ventilation by putting your HVAC system on continuous circulation.
5. Companion and In-Home Care for Seniors
When it comes to the coronavirus, elderly individuals are among those who are at the highest risk of becoming infected. So it is especially important to consider the safety of your senior loved ones not only this holiday season, but during the pandemic in general.
Unfortunately, this may mean your elderly loved ones will need to spend Christmas on their own instead of alongside family, friends, and other loved ones. Some seniors may already be without their spouse and friends or live far from their family. This can easily lead to loneliness which can contribute to feelings of depression.
Social Companionship with a Caregiver
No matter the situation, you can ensure your elderly loved ones have the companionship and care they need during the holidays, throughout the remainder of the pandemic, and afterwards with professional senior home care.
At Assisting Hands, we offer companion care services in Park Ridge, IL, and the neighboring Chicago suburbs to help elderly individuals in need. Within these services, our professional caregivers will provide elderly care and companionship to seniors. We will develop a personal relationship with them, engage in conversation, encourage and accompany them during social activities, and provide any necessary in-home care.
Within these services, you can feel at ease knowing that your elderly loved one not only has a companion but a caregiver around to help with senior home care needs.
For companion and elderly care in Park Ridge, IL, and the neighboring Chicago suburbs, call Assisting Hands at (847) 796-6685.