January 20, 2022
NYSARA Virtual Town Hall on Winter Wellness for Seniors Presents Valuable Information
|Franklin County Director of Public Health Katie Strack was special guest of NYSARA for a virtual Town Hall Meeting focused on Winter Wellness for Seniors on Wed. Jan. 12.
Not surprisingly, questions about the Coronavirus surge and the challenges of dealing with the Omicron variant dominated the conversation, but related issues such as maintaining physical and mental health, including the dealing with isolation throughout the winter months were also covered in detail.
Strack who has been the Director of Public Health for Franklin County up in Northern New York for the past ten years is responsible for a wide range of activities aimed at ensuring the well-being of all members of the community , including seniors. She has been on the front line of the efforts to safeguard against Covid 19 and ensure that all have good information and can make valid decisions for themselves, their families and neighbors.
She stressed the importance of vaccination and booster shots to safeguard against the virus and its variants. While there has been a lot of news recently about breakthrough cases of the Omicron variant in individuals who have been vaccinated and boosted, she noted that the vaccination and boosted status reduce the likelihood that individuals will suffer severe symptoms requiring hospitalization.
She also noted that seniors in general are well vaccinated and are not at higher risk of infection than other groups. The critical factors involve underlying conditions that may make individuals more susceptible or at greater risk if infected.
There was also important discussion about the importance of wearing masks when interacting with others in closed public settings, to protect yourself and others. It was pointed out that the quality of mask and the way it is worn can impact its effectiveness.
Strack also emphasized that seniors should be sure to eat a nutritious and balanced diet and take appropriate vitamins in the winter months. She also noted the importance of light and sun whenever possible and indoor exercise to keep active if you can’t get out for healthy walks and other activity. There was also discussion about the challenges of seniors being isolated in winter and the importance for all of to stay in touch with friends, family and neighbors who may be on their own. (Include link to recording if appropriate)
(County by county across New York there are offices for the aging with many programs and resources to help seniors…learn more here about your home area: https://www.agingny.org/agingny-member-directory.html)