As individual states begin to reopen, you may have questions about how to keep your family safe and when you can visit loved ones again. If you have an immunocompromised family member or friend, you may have additional concerns about when it will be safe to spend time with them.
National and state health experts say to follow social distancing and other prevention methods. This is the case even in states that are opening some businesses, beaches and other services. And it’s especially true for people who are immunocompromised.
We’re Taking Extra Precautions for Your Protection
If you have a loved one who’s immunocompromised, please take extreme caution when keeping in touch with them, so you both can stay safe. This goes for visits and getting health care. At all AdventHealth facilities, we’re taking extra safety measures for you and your loved ones’ protection.
When you come in for health care, you’ll notice new policies in place, like:
Separate care areas for anyone with concerning symptoms
Social distancing measures in waiting rooms
Temperature checks at all facility entrances
Universal mask use for providers and patients
These measures empower us to provide you and your immunocompromised loved ones with the care you know and trust, with a greater level of protection for your peace of mind.
What Does It Mean to Be Immunocompromised?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), taking extreme caution is important for groups at risk of becoming severely ill, including people who have weakened immune systems.
A person may be immunocompromised if they smoke, or have:
A long history of taking corticosteroids or other medications that can weaken the immune system
An immune deficiency
HIV or AIDS that is poorly controlled
Undergone a bone marrow or organ transplant
Undergone cancer treatment
How to Take Extra Caution Around Your Immunocompromised Loved Ones
If you have a loved one who falls into this category, you should continue to use extra caution when it comes to protecting their health, including practicing social distancing guidelines. Although it can be frustrating to keep your distance from loved ones, try to remember that by staying apart, you’re helping protect their health.
Continue Socializing From a Distance
At this point, you’ve probably found some creative new ways to socialize from a distance with family and friends: using social media, video chatting apps and even the old-fashioned telephone.
Because it may still be some time before you can safely visit your immunocompromised loved ones in person, try to continue thinking of new ways to feel connected, even while you remain physically apart. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Visit From a Distance
If your loved one’s living situation allows, take a lawn chair to their house and share a visit from a distance of at least 6 feet apart. Don’t forget to wear your cloth face covering in addition to maintaining distance.
Share a Weekly Dinner Over Video Chat
Pick a night, plan a menu and both make the same dish. Then turn on your video chat, light a candle and share your meal virtually. You could even turn it into a cooking competition and judge the final results on presentation and creativity.
Catch a Movie Together From Your Own Homes
Grab some popcorn and tune in to the same movie or television show while on a video chat or the phone. Or, if you both have Netflix, check out the new Netflix Party option that allows you to chat online as you enjoy the same show. It’s not exactly the same as hitting your local movie theater, but it’s a good runner-up.
Take an Online Class Together
With so many options online now for classes — both free and for a fee — choose one that interests you both. Think painting, cooking or learning a foreign language. Then, connect during the week to share your progress.
Schedule Some Exercise
With the closing of gyms and parks, social distancing has made it harder for many people to get exercise. Because your immunocompromised loved one should continue to take extra precautions, even as states begin to open, help them stay in shape by doing a workout together over FaceTime, Skype, Zoom or another video app.
Have a Virtual Game Night
There are now many options for playing board games online with friends, from online crossword apps to sites like Google Hangouts or Jackbox TV. Not all are free, but they offer a fun way to connect with others.
Nothing Is More Important to Us Than You
Know that your safety — and that of your immunocompromised loved ones — is our priority. We’re committed to providing the latest information to keep you and your family healthy, and if you need care, we’re taking extra precautions to keep you safe in every facility. To learn more about new safety measures we’re using to keep you safe, visit AdventHealth.com.