We are now several months into the COVID-19 pandemic and still learning so much about this deadly disease. One thing we do know with certainty is that the elderly is one group that is more susceptible to developing serious complications when the virus attacks. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates adults 65 years of age or older account for as many as 38 percent of COVID-19 deaths. Here are five prevention tips to help the senior citizen in your life to stay healthy.
#1 STAY HOME AND PRACTICE SOCIAL DISTANCING
Millions of Americans have been staying home since the pandemic began in March, and for those most vulnerable like the elderly, physicians say the practice should continue. Not only will isolation and distancing reduce your chance of catching COVID-19 says DailyCaring.com, but it lessens the chance that the disease could spread to others. “We’ve been talking about flattening the curve to prevent a drain on hospital systems that could get overwhelmed,” said Pride PHC Vice President Andres Cruz. “Social distancing also provides those who need medical treatment the most the opportunity to receive that care.”
#2 AVOID TOUCHING YOUR FACE
The virus gets into the body through mucous membranes such as your eyes, nose, and mouth. If you can avoid touching your face, especially with unwashed hands, you will keep yourself much safer. “When you do wash your hands make sure you do it thoroughly and for at least 20 seconds,” said Cruz.
#3 AVOID TOUCHING COMMON SURFACES
UCI Health reports that if you need to touch commonly shared surfaces such as elevator buttons, door handles and handrails, that you should be using a tissue or a sleeve instead. “You can even use something as simple as a Q-tip to touch elevator buttons. Anything to avoid direct contact with your skin,” stressed Cruz.
#4 KEEP SANITIZER HANDY
If you must go out of the house, make sure to have a sanitizer bottle with you at all times. That way if you do end up accidentally touching someone else or a surface that has been touched by others, you can disinfect your hands right away.
#5 DEVELOP A CARE PLAN
Work with your personal physician and discuss what measures should be taken if you do contract the virus. The CDC says your conversations should include a summary of your medications, health conditions, emergency contacts and end-of-life wishes. “This discussion will take the burden off of other family members should there be a time where you are not able to communicate you desires for your treatment,” said Cruz.
Although there is no way to ensure you are 100 percent protected from COVID-19, if you follow these tips, medical providers say you are taking the right steps to keep yourself infection free.