1 Tip, 1 To-Do & 1 Tough Topic 
for Older Adults and their loved ones  

COVID-19 Newsletter #1


How are you weathering this strange time? I don’t mind being at home, but I do miss face-to-face contact. Staying home is, hopefully, protecting my physical self. My next concern is remaining sane. I thought I would share some thoughts about maintaining sanity under the circumstances.


1 Tip – Sleep

It is important to have a routine for sleep – go to bed the same time each night and get up the same time every morning. Without work to go to or appointments to keep, it is tempting to act like we’re on. Eventually, that can lead to a real sense of chaos. Protect yourself and sleep on a schedule.


1 To-do – The Pantry

If you are looking for something to do with so many hours (or days) in front of you, try organizing the pantry.  

  • Set aside food you will never use to go to the food pantry 
  • Throw out what’s expired or not good. 
  • Rearrange what’s left. Think about putting the things you use most in the most convenient place – in the front at eye level or a little lower. 
  • Assign special shelves – like chips on a shelf for the kids or easy things to make for dinner when time is short. 

If you aren’t responsible for the pantry, clean out the tool drawer. I can’t tell you the interesting things I’ve found in the tool drawer! Without the odd keys, mini hand lotion bottles and restaurant menus(!) it’s so much easier to find what I’m looking for!


1 Tough Topic – Health Care Proxy (HCP)

I’ve been a little too aware of my mortality. I keep thinking, “Do I have my affairs in order?

And why do people tell us to do that without explaining what it means?! This is something I often help clients with; gathering important papers into one place and distributing them as needed.


In doing so, I consider this to be Step One: If you have not named a Health Care Proxy, do so! An HCP (aka Health Care Representative) is someone who will make decisions for you if you cannot do so yourself. If a patient is competent and conscious, medical treatment cannot be given without their specific consent. If not, it is important that medical personnel know to whom to turn for consent or decision-making. 


A form recognized by the State of Connecticut is here*:


Here’s Your Plan of Action:

  • Decide on a sleep schedule – the same every day
  • Organize the pantry – help the food-insecure along the way
  • Prepare or check on your HCP – be sure to confirm and discuss any changes with the person who has agreed to execute your wishes


*Another great resource I’ve recently found is:

Fidelity, Wisdom and Love: Patients and Proxies in Partnership. It’s an inexpensive little pamphlet out of NY Presbyterian-Weill Cornell on how to make health care decisions. It’s the best guide I’ve seen on how to discuss decisions and scenarios. with a proposed HCP. It comes with a form for the State of New York, so you’ll still need your state’s version. Prices vary, so look around before ordering.