Any festival is incomplete without the heartfelt blessings from elders, especially a festival as widely celebrated as Diwali. But since the onset of the pandemic, life, the way we knew it has changed beyond measure. In the age where every touch makes people grab their sanitizer and disinfectant wipes — what COVID-19 related precautions, we should take while visiting elders during Diwali?
Keep the crowd to the minimum
While Diwali is a festival of meeting family and friends, crowd management is still a key to safe celebrations for your elders. Try calling relatives in batches rather than all at once. This gives you enough time to sanitize the normal touchpoints.
Even though it’s one of the biggest festivals of the year, we need to understand that the risk of COVID-19 is still at large. Organize a virtual meet-up for the family members and friends who stay far away, if they have been ill or have traveled recently. You could use a range of video calling-based apps to celebrate together while also not letting your elder family members feel isolated during this festive season.
Keep crackers at bay
Crackers are harmful to any age group, especially elders when they may have respiratory ailments such as asthma, allergic bronchitis, pneumonia. Now, when lung health is a priority — staying away from smoke emitting crackers has become important. Keep your elders away from areas where crackers are burst and keep the doors-windows of the house firmly closed to not let any pollution or smoke inside the house.
Install an air purifier at home
While staying indoors keeps you away from crackers’ smoke but polluted air can still seep indoors. Consider installing an air purifier at home to make the air cleaner for your elder family members. Through an air purifier, you can keep track of purity while also ensuring that there are no lingering germs in the air. A plus point is that most of the air purifiers today are portable-movable and can be placed near the elders for their added safety.
Keep your guard on
While many youngsters and even elders have gotten the recommended doses of COVID-19 vaccinations, still the chances of them getting infected have just been reduced and not eliminated. If anyone visiting the elders has not been vaccinated because of any reason — ask your guest to keep a healthy distance and wear their masks while around them.
Be cautious even after Diwali
While the fanfare with crackers and guests might have come to an end, try keeping your elders at home rather than having them step out for their routine morning walks. Days following the festival, the air still has harmful pollutants left behind by the crackers. It is advised to do light exercises at home to avoid the risk of asthma attacks, sinusitis, and congestion due to decreased immunity.
Take special care if your elders suffer from dementia
Try not to overwhelm your elder with dementia by introducing them to newer people, loud sounds, etc. Note that none of the guests should force them to interact if they do not wish to. Instead, keep a family member or a helper/attendant they are comfortable with around your elder at all times without making them feel as if they are being watched. Include your elders in celebrations while making sure that they are happy and comfortable.
Follow the above tips to enjoy a safe, risk-free Diwali with your family and friends while taking care of your elders’ needs.