Here’s something positive: Although the Coronavirus pandemic is still on the move, we are learning new things about the virus every day to arm ourselves with information.
One thing we know for sure is that older adults are categorized as being one of the most at-risk groups of catching the virus. There are a variety of reasons why seniors are more susceptible and there are ways the can stay healthy.
Why Are Older Adults More at Risk?
As a result of aging, seniors have weaker immune systems, and thus they are twice as likely to catch Coronavirus if in contact with it. The older we get, the more our immune systems deteriorate. This leaves them less equipped to fight off disease or infection, and to help the body repair and recover after an illness. Aging has a similar effect on the lungs, which lose their elasticity and resiliency with time. For this reason, Coronavirus is very dangerous to seniors, as the virus is known to make breathing difficult.
How Can Older Adults Protect Themselves?
Scaling back on how often you and other family or friends visit your senior is an important part of keeping your loved one safe. Limit visitations to once a week, or less than that, and consider video calls or phone calls in place of in-person visits for as long as the pandemic lasts. Your senior should also try and limit their trips to any doctors’ offices if it is not medically necessary that they go. Call their doctor if you are unsure what qualifies as medically necessary.
Everyone, especially seniors, are encouraged to follow guidelines put in place by the Center for Disease Control (CDC). The CDC suggests wearing masks when going out in public places or when visiting with others, and keeping frequently touched surfaces in the home disinfected. This includes countertops and doorknobs where germs can concentrate. Lastly, your senior should practice washing their hands frequently throughout the day with an alcohol-based soap for at least 20 seconds per wash.
You do not want your senior to run out of supplies while they’re in quarantine or isolation! Help them make sure they are stocked with basic household items, like toilet paper, soap, and cleaning items. Also verify if they have enough food and any of their routine medications. Check in with your senior often to see if they need to be replenished with any of these items.
Please contact our experts here at Home Care Assistance if you would like further guidance on keeping your senior healthy during the Coronavirus pandemic.