2 Your Health: How older people can stay safe while socializing

2 Your Health

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Many older people are starting to make summer plans now that they’re vaccinated, but a Cleveland Clinic doctor said they still need to be careful.

“I think that the vaccination process has really opened up more of the world we want to come back to, but there are still a couple of caveats. Not everyone has gotten vaccinated yet, so it’s not 100% safe. The other thing is that even though the vaccines are really good, it’s still not 100%,” said Ronan Factora, MD, who specializes in geriatric medicine.

Dr. Factora said he gets asked by patients all the time about what activities might be safe to do. In general, anything that doesn’t include large crowds where there may be a lot of strangers.

For example, going to a busy restaurant, bar or amusement park. When it comes to wearing masks, the CDC recently announced they’re no longer needed if you’re vaccinated, except when traveling or otherwise required.

However, Dr. Factora said you may want to still consider wearing one if you’re going to be around others who aren’t vaccinated.

He knows it can be frustrating, but we’re not out of the woods just yet. 

“We just have to be patient. This is a process that takes time. We have vaccine availability. Now it’s the process of trying to get that vaccine out to the people who want it and try to encourage those who are hesitant or don’t want to take it, to do take it so we can move forward faster,” he said.

Dr. Factora said isolation and depression have been a big problem during the pandemic, so it’s great that older people can finally socialize again.

He said it’s also another reason for their family members to get vaccinated.

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