COVID-19 Tip Sheet for Older Adults & People with Higher Risk of Severe Illness

  • Posted by Ruby
  • /
  • April 17, 2020
covid-19 senior care

Everyone around the world is somehow affected by the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak.

With millions of people sheltering in their homes, governments are trying hard to fight against the pandemic with every possible effort.

As we all know, the novel coronavirus can be spread to anyone regardless of age. But the fact that elderly individuals and the ones with serious chronic medical conditions are at a higher risk of severe illness can’t be overlooked.

It is crucial for the ones with conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and respiratory problems to closely monitor their symptoms and follow adequate preventive measures to prevent infection.

Here’s a quick tip sheet that helps the elderly in preparing themselves to fight against the novel coronavirus and to ensure their safety at their place.

Take Advance Actions to Prevent the Spread of Infection

COVID-19, commonly known as the coronavirus, severely affects the respiratory system and can lead to complications that require critical medical attention.

The ones with underlying respiratory illnesses should ensure that they are properly taking their prescribed medications on time and are following a healthy diet & lifestyle.

If any of the elderly individuals are face the initial symptoms related to breathing issues, it is strongly recommended that they should isolate themselves for a minimum of 14 days or until the symptoms get cured.

Don’t neglect the fact that this virus spreads very quickly and hence, you need to make the distance from your dear ones for their safety. Isolating yourself is perhaps the best option to prevent contamination.

Here’s what needs to be done:

  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds
  • Use alcohol-based hand sanitizers with a minimum of 60% alcohol
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth
  • Avoid contact with people who are suspected or showing any of the symptoms including fever, cough, or shortness of breath
  • Always cover your mouth and nose properly while coughing and sneezing into your elbow
  • Avoid touching common areas such as stair railings
  • Quarantine yourself if you are witnessing the associated symptoms
  • Seek medical help if you are not seeing relief from symptoms

Reduce the Risk of Exposure

One should avoid going outside as there’s a higher risk of exposure to the infection. People with the weaker immune system are more prone to get severely ill.

If there’s an emergency and one can’t consider staying home; proper use of personal protective equipment must be considered.

Most of the elderly individuals across the United States aren’t aware of the fact that the virus spreads quickly from a person that may seem healthy but is the career of the virus.

What measures you need to take to avoid exposure:

  • Seek help for outdoor tasks
  • Restrict visitors at your place
  • Get necessary medication for at least a month in advance
  • Wear a mask every time you need to go out for some urgent work
  • Sanitize common areas that are frequently touched
  • Stay away from others’ pets
  • Avoid non-essential travel to public areas
  • Consider getting food and groceries by family or community networks

Prepare a Plan in Advance if you Get Sick

Most people think they can’t get infected from the novel coronavirus. One should know that the COVID-19 infection can affect any person regardless of their age and other circumstances.

Medical practitioners strongly recommend seeking medical help that if you have a travel history in the past 14 days and you are facing any of the symptoms. Normal flu-like symptoms, if they aren’t getting cured, can be a reason to seek emergency help.

  • Closely monitor your symptoms and provide a regular update to your health care provider
  • Stay in touch with others through a video call or an audio call
  • Seek help from neighbors or acquaintances if you are quarantined at your home
  • Ask your caregivers for any outdoor tasks
  • Consider arranging another caregiver just in case your caregiver isn’t available

Stay Away from Myths

Another challenge in front of the world is to stop the rumors that are circulating among the seniors. Some claim to cure the disease while others are assumed to prevent the ailment.

The World Health Organization has issued some essential guidelines regarding the myths that are associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.  One should go through these guidelines and ensure that they only believe in the facts that are verified and are true in treating and preventing the infection.

Stock the necessary Medication and PPE Supplies

Seniors with underlying health issues must be in touch with their health care providers to ensure they are physically fit and able to deal with the situation with minimum risk.

The elderly should stock their essential medications and personal protective equipment including gloves, masks, and sanitizers to restrict outdoor visits.

Seniors should ensure:

  • They have enough cleaning supplies and food to last an extended period
  • They have extra over the counter medication and other supplies
  • They prefer home delivery of essential supplies rather stepping out of their home themselves

Focus on a Healthy Diet and Proper Hydration

Seniors must pay close attention to their diet that plays an important role in maintaining proper immunity. Foods rich in vitamins, proteins, carbohydrates, and fats should be included in the diet in suggested amounts.

Apart from the diet, it is equally important for the seniors to maintain a sufficient amount of fluids in their bodies. Staying hydrated helps your body to maintain adequate immunity.

Use Technology

One can stay updated regarding the latest news regarding their surroundings and can eventually get in touch with their dear ones through social media.

Social media platforms not only connects you with your friends and family members but is a great way to spend quality time. One can consider video calling their friends during the quarantine period, which is perhaps the best way to minimize loneliness.

Conclusion

Since elderly individuals are at a higher risk of developing serious respiratory illness due to COVID-19, one should be aware of the symptoms and preventive measures.

People with severe health ailments just need to be more careful and should strictly follow the Federal Government and CDC’s guidelines to prevent infection.

Disclaimer: The details mentioned above are collected from official sources like WHO & CDC and is for informational purpose only. It does not depict the editor’s or publisher’s views.

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Related blog posts:

COVID-19 Checklist for Caregivers
Corona Virus: Everything that Seniors and Caregivers Need to Know

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