If an older adult in your family has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, you likely feel a tremendous sense of relief. But you may also wonder what activities are safe for them now. Keep reading to learn about recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding what fully vaccinated older adults can safely do and what precautions your family still needs to take.
Who is considered fully vaccinated against COVID-19?
COVID-19 vaccines have been proven to reduce the risk of serious illness, hospitalization and death from the COVID-19 virus. A person is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving their second dose of a two-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or two weeks after receiving a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine. If your loved one hasn’t met these criteria, they’re not fully vaccinated and should continue to take all recommended precautions.
While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has relaxed some guidelines for vaccinated individuals, it’s important to remember that the vaccines have not been proven to be 100% effective for all individuals and that the risk of serious illness and death from COVID-19 increases with age. Older adults – and their caregivers and families – should continue to be vigilant about COVID-19 safety. Always check with your family member’s physician before they participate in new activities.
What can older adults do after getting vaccinated?
The CDC says fully vaccinated people can now:
- Visit indoors with other fully vaccinated people without social distancing or wearing masks.
- Gather indoors with unvaccinated people from one other household without wearing masks or social distancing (as long as the unvaccinated people aren’t at high risk of severe COVID-19 illness and don’t live with a high-risk person).
- Participate in outdoor activities (such as walking or visiting a park) without wearing a mask, as long as the area isn’t too crowded.
The CDC recommends all vaccinated adults continue to take the following precautions:
- Wear a mask and practice social distancing when visiting public indoor spaces.
- Wear a mask when gathering indoors with unvaccinated people from more than one household.
- Wear a mask when visiting unvaccinated people who are at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19.
- Practice regular hand hygiene.
- Cover coughs and sneezes.
- Get tested if you have COVID-19 symptoms.
- Avoid large indoor gatherings.
- Follow CDC and health department travel guidelines and requirements.
Safe activities for fully vaccinated older adults
As a family member, you might have seen firsthand how the pandemic physically and mentally affected your loved one. While research has shown older adults tend to be more resilient to the stress of the pandemic, nearly a quarter of people over age 65 reported anxiety or depression in the Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey.
It’s important for older adults to regain some sense of normalcy and have social interactions because loneliness and isolation can increase the risk of:
- Weakened immune system
- Heart disease
- Early death
If your loved one is fully vaccinated, it’s generally safer for them to resume some social and outdoor activities. Here are some ideas for safer activities based on CDC guidance:
- Visit a local park or garden.
- Go for a neighborhood walk.
- Spend time on the porch or patio.
- Visit with a small number of family members or friends (as long as all individuals are healthy).
- Dine outdoors at a restaurant.
- Visit an uncrowded museum or shopping center.
- Attend a religious service.
Please note: You, your family member and their caregiver should wear masks, practice social distancing and practice hand hygiene when visiting a public indoor space.
How CareLinx caregivers keep older adults safe
Another way you can support your family member’s mental and physical well-being is to work with a highly qualified professional caregiver who follows CDC guidelines and provides companionship to your loved one. CareLinx caregivers can:
- Help with activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing and toileting.
- Offer companionship, like going for walks, playing games and having conversations.
- Ensure your loved one takes medications as prescribed.
- Help your family member get regular exercise.
- Provide housekeeping services and ensure your loved one’s home or room is clean and sanitized.
- Provide transportation for errands and appointments.
CareLinx caregivers are trained, pre-vetted, and have undergone a thorough background check to ensure that your loved one receives high-quality care personalized to their needs. Find a CareLinx caregiver near you.