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As California Seniors, High-Risk Populations Self-Isolate Amid Coronavirus Outbreak, How Are You Staying Connected?

An elderly woman wearing a protective mask sitting in a wheelchair is pushed down the street.
An elderly woman wearing a protective mask sitting in a wheelchair is pushed down the street.
Marco Di Lauro/Getty Images

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Among the recommendations from California Governor Gavin Newsom on Sunday night as he updated Golden State residents on the latest regarding the coronavirus outbreak was that Californians over the age of 65 and those with underlying health conditions self-isolate to prevent the spread of disease. Hospitals and nursing homes were also asked to cut back on the number of visitors they allow.

The guidance raises a number of questions for how California seniors -- how will meal deliveries and food resupply work? Will people still be able to attend their usual doctor’s visits and get prescription medications filled? And how will seniors stay connected to the outside world and their family members and loved ones if they are being asked to stay at home, especially in places like assisted living facilities that often have regular, organized activities to keep residents physically and mentally active?

Today on AirTalk, we’ll talk about some tips for older Californians as they self-isolate amid the outbreak. If you are one of them, we’d like to hear from you! How are you staying connected to your families and the outside world? How are you navigating this psychologically? If you’re a caretaker of an older relative, how are you staying connected and continuing to provide care, even if you can no longer be with your loved one physically? Join the live conversation by calling 866-893-5722.



Lisa Gibbs, M.D., clinical professor of family medicine and chief of the Division of Geriatrics and Gerontology at the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine