Seniors are among the most vulnerable to Covid-19. This is especially true for seniors with pre-existing medical conditions or comorbidities like cancer, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, and chronic respiratory disease, among others. When they get infected with Covid-19, they are more likely to suffer from severe symptoms and complications than other age groups.
The risks for getting very sick from Covid-19 increases for people aged 60 and above. They are susceptible to hospitalization and some require a ventilator or intensive care. This is why prevention is very important. In this article, let us find out how seniors can prevent getting Covid-19.
How can seniors protect themselves from getting Covid-19?
The following are some simple but effective tips to help seniors avoid getting infected with Covid-19:
- It is important to stay at home as much as possible. Only go out if it is really necessary or essential.
- Observe social distancing at all times. If there are other people inside your home, avoid getting in contact with them if they are sick.
- Wear an appropriate mask when you go outside. Make sure to wear it properly.
- Avoid unnecessary travel like boarding airplanes or cruise ships.
- Wash your hands often, especially if you go outside your home.
- When washing your hands, use soap and wash them thoroughly for 20 seconds or more.
- If you are outside and can’t wash your hands, use 60% alcohol or alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your mouth, nose, and eyes, especially with unwashed hands.
- If you sneeze or cough, use a tissue or a handkerchief. If you don’t have one, cover your nose and mouth with your arm. Wash your hands afterward.
- Disinfect and clean the surfaces that you often touch, such as chairs, tables, doorknobs, handrails, phones, desks, handles, gadgets, sinks, faucets, toilets, and other things.
- Pay attention to any updates regarding Covid-19 and follow medical advisories.
Covid-19 Recommendations for Seniors
One of the most effective ways of preventing severe illness, complications, hospitalizations, and even death is getting vaccinated. Seniors who have received two doses of Moderna or Pfizer vaccines show a reduction of risk of Covid-19-related hospitalization up to 94%. This is true as well with other vaccines.
Moreover, booster shots increase the immune response of the individual. This is why seniors are really encouraged to get vaccinated. With the more transmissible Omicron variant around, it is important and urgent more than ever to get vaccinated and boosted. Vaccines work in preventing severe symptoms, hospitalizations, and death. You need all the protection that you can get. The vaccine offers you that extra layer of protection.
Caregivers must also take necessary precautions
With a caregiver around, seniors can be easily supervised and monitored. The caregiver will ensure the safety and health of the senior by taking all the necessary precautions in avoiding the risk of getting infected with Covid-19.
However, in order for caregivers to be effective in doing their job, they must also lead by example. Caregivers need to take all the basic precautions so that they will not get infected with the virus. The last thing caregivers would want is to be the carrier of Covid-19 and infect the seniors that they are supposed to take care of.
Here are the basic things to follow in order to lessen the chances, if not totally avoid, of getting infected with Covid-19:
- Frequently wash your hands before and after providing care. When washing your hands, use soap and water and do it properly for 20 seconds or more. Wash your hands before preparing food and after touching surfaces especially in public places.
- Avoid crowds and keep your distance. If you sneeze or cough, cover your nose and mouth with a tissue.
- Avoid touching your face, especially your mouth, nose, and eyes.
- If you are outside and can’t wash your hands, spray your hands with alcohol or use a sanitizer.
- Frequently clean and disinfect the surfaces that you and other people often touch, like doorknobs, switches, tables, chairs, handrails, and the like.
With this in mind, if you are looking for a caregiver for your senior loved one, make sure that the caregiver you hire follows CDC protocols. Ask for the caregiver’s vaccination card. Always decide according to what is best and safe for your elderly loved one.
Minimizing the risk of Covid-19 infection
One of the most effective ways of minimizing the risk of Covid-19 infection is to avoid unnecessary contact with other people. Avoiding crowds and places where you will likely contract the virus can really help seniors prevent getting Covid-19. Postpone any unnecessary trips, travels, and vacations.
Hospitals and clinics are among the places where you will likely get the virus. Hence, it is practical to postpone non-essential doctor visits while there is still a surge in Covid-19 cases.
Thanks to technology, it is now possible to stay in touch with your doctor without actually going to the clinic. This can be done through telemedicine, which allows patients to communicate with their doctors through video or other electronic means. The caregiver will be there with you to help incorporate the doctor’s advice in your care plan.
The pandemic shows no signs of stopping anytime soon. With the virus still around and new variants coming up, it is important to keep practicing basic health protocols to protect ourselves. Seniors cannot afford the risk of getting Covid-19. It is very important that they take all the necessary precautions. By following the basic tips mentioned above, seniors can better protect themselves from getting infected with Covid-19 and help prevent the spread of the virus.
If you need a caregiver that follows CDC protocols to take care of your loved one, we can help. Home Care San Diego provides qualified caregivers that can keep your seniors safe at home. Call us now: (760) 634-8090