The novel coronavirus is quickly spreading across the world. As of the end of March 2020, the virus had been detected in more than 141,000 individuals and killed more than 2,400 people in the United States alone. The majority of these deaths have occurred in seniors. Understanding why seniors are particularly at risk and taking steps to prevent the spread of the virus can help you keep your aging loved one healthy.
What Is COVID-19?
The novel coronavirus is a respiratory virus that quickly spreads from person to person through small particles that are inhaled. An infected person might not display symptoms until 14 days after being infected. This long incubation period allows the virus to spread quickly. There’s no current vaccine or cure for COVID-19, though scientists and researchers are working to develop solutions.
How Does It Affect Seniors?
As the virus began spreading in China in late 2019, it was quickly discovered that it affected seniors more seriously than younger individuals. As of late March, the average age of those who have died of COVID-19 in Italy is 81, and the majority of people who have died in China from the illness have been over the age of 80.
Researchers aren’t completely sure why seniors are most affected, but they believe it may be due to diminished immune systems. With age, the immune system weakens, making it more difficult to fight pathogens like coronavirus. Seniors are also more likely to already have chronic conditions, such as heart disease or lung disease. Current data shows those with underlying health conditions are more likely to die from coronavirus.
If your loved one needs help adopting healthy habits that can boost his or her immune system, a home caregiver can be a wonderful source of support. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of elder care. Clearwater families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia.
What Are the Symptoms to Watch Out For?
Be aware of the symptoms of COVID-19 and make sure your loved one and his or her caregivers understand what to look out for and when to get your loved one to the doctor. These symptoms include:
- Dry cough
- Sore throat
- Red eyes
COVID-19 can quickly turn from minor symptoms into a serious condition. If your loved one has a difficult time breathing, he or she needs to get medical attention immediately.
One of the best ways for seniors to avoid exposure to coronavirus is to isolate themselves at home and have a home caregiver run errands for them, including shopping for groceries and picking up prescriptions. If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of senior home care. Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives.
What Are Some Ways to Keep Seniors Safe?
Because seniors are more susceptible to COVID-19, it’s critical to take steps to keep your loved one safe. Everyone who is around your loved one should wash their hands for 20 seconds in hot, soapy water before entering the home or caring for him or her. They should also avoid touching their faces. Ask individuals who aren’t caregivers for your loved one to keep in touch via texts, emails, letters, or phone calls and socially distance themselves for now.
It may also be a good idea to consider hiring an in-home caregiver. Having a single in-home caregiver can reduce the risk of exposure by limiting the number of people caring for your loved one and eliminating your parent’s risk of being exposed in an assisted living facility. In-home caregivers are properly trained in hygiene and recognizing symptoms of serious conditions such as COVID-19. Having a home caregiver can give you and your loved one peace of mind during this pandemic.
Aging in place can present a few unique challenges for older adults. Some only require part-time assistance with exercise or meal preparation, while others are living with serious illnesses and benefit more significantly from receiving live-in care. Clearwater, FL, Home Care Assistance are leaders in the elderly in-home care industry for good reason. We tailor our care plans based on each senior’s individual needs, our caregivers continue to receive updated training in senior care as new developments arise, and we also offer comprehensive care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s. Trust your loved one’s care to the professionals at Home Care Assistance. Reach out to one of our compassionate Care Managers today at (727) 330-7862.
With information surrounding coronavirus/COVID-19 changing by the hour, it’s challenging to stay updated on the most recent best practices for keeping seniors safe at home. At Home Care Assistance, we understand how critical it is for seniors and their caregivers to protect against coronavirus as much as possible. All our team members have received detailed communication on infection control protocols, including effective cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces and hands. Our caregivers can pick up medications, groceries, and anything else a senior needs, minimizing their interaction with large groups of people. For more information on how Home Care Assistance helps protect clients, click here: https://www.homecareassistancetampabay.com/covid-19-home-care/.