Healthcast: seniors at higher risk

Healthcast

(HEALTHCAST)— Staying home has been particularly hard on seniors and others at higher risk.

“There’s not a magic age at which your risk is higher or like too high. But all of us need to consider what kind of risk is acceptable,” chief health officer at the University of Michigan Dr. Preeti Malani said.

Malani is also an expert in infectious disease and geriatrics. She said it’s important for everyone to look for ways to re-engage in less risky ways.

“With all activity, it’s about decreasing risk to the lowest possible risk. We can’t eliminate risks short of staying home and never going outside. And that is also not a good option for most of us,” Malani said.

That means going grocery shopping when it’s the least crowded, or sticking to delivery services if it’s still too high risk.

Doctors’ appointments are essential, and Malani encourages everyone to reschedule canceled appointments.

As for seeing the grandkids…

“This is a question that a lot of people have, and there’s not a perfect time and there’s not a way to do it without any risk. But right now in Michigan, our numbers are pretty good. And if people have all been staying home and doing a good job of maintaining social distance, the risk is acceptable to go and visit with your grandkids,” Malani said. “Be outdoors and that is always going to be a safer option than being indoors. Washing your hands and certainly, if anyone has any symptoms, they shouldn’t be interacting with anyone else they should be staying home and if those symptoms worsen to be tested.”

Doctor Malani recommends you have a discussion as a family before you visit to figure out the best approach ahead of time.

If you’re in a higher risk group because of health problems, consider talking to your doctor first.

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