At Stay at Home Senior Care, we are always concerned with the health and wellbeing of our clients and caregivers. That is why in addition to our standard universal precautions and influenza protection measures, we are advising additional precautions to our clients, caregivers and our client’s family members.
The Coronavirus Disease 2019, referred to as COVID 19, is a serious health issue, one that requires caregivers and the seniors they care for to be vigilant about preventing the onset and spread of the illness. The following seven tips or precautions apply are designed to help people avoid the virus and stay healthy:
- Wash Hands Regularly — The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food. If soap and water are not readily available, then use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid Crowded Areas — The general rule of thumb during any virus outbreak is to avoid crowded areas, including public transportation, large gatherings, and social functions. Many areas affected by COVID 19 have initiated Stay at Home or Shelter in Place orders that encourage residents to stay at home and limit travel to the essentials like grocery stores, pharmacies, and banks. Seniors and those with potential underlying medical conditions should limit their exposure to crowded areas and practice social distancing, or physical distancing, which is the behavioral practice of maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet), between you and others.
- Reconsider Routine Dr. Appointments (Unnecessary Visits) — If you are suffering from a chronic condition that could weaken your immune system, then you will want to consider avoiding visiting places that increase your chance of coming in contact with an infected person, including hospitals and physician offices. During the COVID 19 outbreak, it is important for seniors to keep in touch with their physicians’ offices concerning their health and discuss postponing unnecessary visits.
- Support Your Immune System — A healthy immune system can help ward off pathogens. Staying hydrated is important, especially for the elderly since with age the body’s ability to conserve water is reduced and the sense of thirst diminishes. Most adults need about 64 ounces of fluid or ½ gallon every day. Dehydration is a real risk for seniors and it can have a huge adverse impact on the immune system. Likewise, nutrition is also important, a healthy diet high in antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables can help keep up the body’s defenses.
- Be Active — Just because you are under a Shelter in Place community order doesn’t mean that you cannot be active at home. Seniors should make sure that they engage in physical activity daily to promote circulation and good general health, cornerstones of a healthy immune system.
- Watch for Symptoms — Being vigilant about protection includes watching for potential symptoms of COVID 19. The CDC advises that you speak to your healthcare provider if you develop any of these symptoms: Fever; Cough; or Shortness of Breath. If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID 19 get medical attention immediately. Emergency warning signs include trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion or inability to arouse, or Bluish lips or face. Please note, this list is not all-inclusive and you should consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.
- Check-in with Loved Ones — Check-in on your loved one frequently via your phone, online app, or service. Your loved one will glad to hear from you. A little bit of reassurance goes a long way to helping people lessen fears and gain perspective.
At Stay at Home Senior Care, our first priority is to the care and well-being of our clients and caregivers. During these challenging times, please know that we are taking every precaution to keep you and your loved ones safe. If you should have any questions at all, then please feel free to reach out to us.
We hope that these seven tips will help you stay safe and secure during the current crisis. Steps taken to prevent the virus today can truly be lifesaving tomorrow.