How to Protect Seniors Against Coronavirus

The coronavirus pandemic has put older adults at risk of infection. Individuals who are 60 years or older and have health issues are at greater risk of coming down with COVID-19 and facing a steep uphill battle in their recovery efforts. Seniors who are already dealing with health challenges such as cancer, lung disease, heart disease, and diabetes could get hit the hardest by this virus and their symptoms could grow so severe as to put their lives at risk. 

The greatest challenge here is the fact elderly adults have compromised immunity systems which lowers their ability to fight off sickness. This makes providing senior care in Richmond such a vital and essential service as we are tasked with protecting the most vulnerable among us in our communities from becoming extremely ill. The responsibility is to protect seniors from getting infected by COVID-19 and that means taking the necessary steps not to transmit the virus to those who are unequipped to effectively fight it. 

Helpful Hints to All Caregivers

Anyone who is tasked with providing much needed care and comfort to the elderly must take a multitude of precautions. The most important thing you can do is to remain healthy. If you are sick you will be unable to care for your senior and that means going out of your way to prevent becoming infected yourself. The best plan of attack for staving off the virus is to wash your hands. 

Washing your hands is one of the most effective methods for preventing the spread of the coronavirus. Wash up after you have used the bathroom, any time you have been in a public area, every time you have interacted with another person, and whenever you about to prepare a meal for yourself or for others. 

Social distancing has also been proven to be a good deterrent to spreading the virus. Always remain six feet away from other people and stay out of any crowded spaces. Sneezing should only be done into the inside of your elbow. Be sure to keep from touching your face. The eyes, the nose, and the mouth are all direct routes for a disease to infect the body and affect the immune system. 

Cleaning All Surfaces

Protecting seniors against coronavirus requires a dedicated, diligent approach to safeguarding from contracting this terrible illness. Surfaces can be deadly because the virus is able to live on certain surfaces for 24 to 48 to as many as 72 hours at a time. So, if an infected individual touches a surface and walks away, another might touch the same surface and touch their face or eat something and that’s it, the virus has been passed from one person to another. 

In order to avoid this from happening, particularly in areas where multiple people are living or frequenting, it is critical that you wipe down all surfaces with cleansers strong enough to kill the disease. The most important surfaces that must be tended to at all times are medical equipment, doorknobs, railings, handles and knobs of cabinets, and any other surfaces that your senior comes into contact with on a daily basis. 

Health Precautions

Seniors have lowered immunity, that means keeping them away from areas where they are more likely to be exposed to the virus. This means keeping them out of crowded environments. With many “safer at home” orders and restrictions placed on public gatherings; seniors have fewer threats to their well-being from infected individuals. 

However, going to the grocery store or the pharmacy can still present serious risk. At all times, keep a senior at home and you, as the caregiver, should go out to get the things he or she needs from the store. If that is not possible, the senior should try to visit markets and shops during designated senior citizen hours, typically the first hour or two of opening. 

Medical treatments and doctor’s appointments should be done from home, remotely. Elective procedures and any other non-emergency medical attention should be postponed to a later date. A senior visiting a medical facility exponentially increases their risk of exposure. Try to conduct any doctor consultations via phone or video teleconference, where diagnoses can still be made and treatment options prescribed.

Non-essential travel plans should be pushed off to a later date. Coronavirus contamination can be passed through airborne particulate so any time you can reduce a senior’s time near others, even with a mask on, will be beneficial to the health and well-being of your elderly adult.