According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in people and animals. While coronaviruses have been around for a long time, a new strand of the virus, COVID-19 was detected last December in Wuhan China. While researchers are moving quickly to understand the nuances of this novel Coronavirus, there is still a lot that is unknown. However, the older adult population, those 65 and older, is the most vulnerable to the virus and can become severely ill if contracted. As the virus continues to spread in the United States, we’re learning new information daily. While these uncertain times can be worrisome and challenging, it’s important to take the necessary precautions to protect our seniors.
While young adults can carry the virus, most are predicted to recover quickly with mild to no symptoms at all. Because of this, it’s important that everyone takes the necessary measures to protect seniors from being exposed to the virus. Here are a few simple, yet effect precautions as advised by the CDC and the World Health Organization (WHO).
• Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds once every hour or more. It’s advised to use hand sanitizer, containing at least 60% alcohol, between washes or when soap and water are unavailable.
• Avoid touching your face, nose and eyes.
• Avoid touching high-touch surfaces in public places, such as handrails, counter tops, gas pumps and door handles.
• Clean and disinfect your home routinely. Make sure to adequately disinfect highly touched surfaces like tables, light switches, doorknobs, handles, desks, toilets, faucets, sink, and cell phones.
How to Prevent Spreading the Virus
Even if you are healthy and asymptomatic, you can still be carrying the virus and putting others at risk. Many communities have cancelled events involving large groups to mitigate the spread of the virus, especially to those with preexisting conditions and vulnerable populations. The CDC recommends the following behaviors:
• Practice social distancing by limiting exposure to the public, especially for older adults. Non-emergency appointments should be postponed.
• While it might be difficult, you should consider limiting contact with seniors and avoid hugging and close contact.
• If you feel sick stay at home, even if you are tempted to go into work or to the store.
• Limit trips to public places like the grocery store. Stock up on non-perishable food items to have on hand.
What to Do if You Get Sick
It’s important to pay attention to how you feel in the coming weeks. COVID-19 symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. In addition, seniors might experience difficulty breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion or bluish lips and face. If you experience any of these symptoms, you should immediately contact your healthcare provider.
Your healthcare provider will ask you about your symptoms and help you get the treatment you need. Because hospitals are likely to be understaffed and overpopulated, you might be sent to recover at home if your case is not severe. However, if you experience any warning signs, act immediately by contacting emergency services.
Our Maplewood Senior Living facilities put our residents’ health first. That’s why we’re taking the appropriate precautions to keep our residents and their families healthy. If you’d like to hear more about our offerings please contact us.
*Note due to COVID-19 we are doing virtual tours at this time.