As the world continues to grapple with the coronavirus, medical authorities from all over the world, based on infection data, have identified older adults and people who have severe chronic or pre-existing medical conditions as having a significantly higher risk of contracting the infection. While anyone of any age can become severely ill with COVID-19, the population of older adults with weakened immune systems, asthma, diabetes, heart issues, lung infections or diseases or kidney diseases, also show an increased difficulty in recovery.
Although information changes as more is learned, coronaviruses are spread mainly from person to person through close contact, for example, in a household, workplace or healthcare center. If you are taking care of a senior during the coronavirus outbreak, there are several precautions, including everyday actions, that you can take to reduce the risk of spreading the disease. Chandler Hall is committed to keeping our residents and staff safe, as well as sharing information to help those of you working hard to keep your loved ones safe at home. Even if you’ve heard these before, a reminder never hurts.
Wash Your Hands
As a caregiver make sure you wash your hands frequently and remind your older loved one to do the same. Using the soap properly and washing hands thoroughly is an effective way to get rid of germs. Always keep a sanitizer with you and make sure to keep one near your senior loved one. Because sanitizers can dry out the fragile skins of the elderly, it’s useful to keep a good hand cream or moisturizer close so they can apply the cream whenever they need it.
Sneeze And Cough Into Your Sleeve
Many people overlook this precaution, but it is very important not to sneeze or cough in the open air. Hygiene etiquette and practices are crucial to prevent the spread of illness and disease at all times. The best method is to cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. If you don’t have any tissue, make sure you or your senior loved one sneeze into the upper sleeve and never hands. Cough etiquette is extremely important for infection control measures.
Avoid Touching Your Eyes, Nose Or Mouth
It is quite natural for a person to touch their face when they are thinking or even speaking. Touching your face is a very common pathway for germs to enter the body. One important tip is to be extremely mindful of your thoughts so you can control your hand movements. If you are stressed out, meditate for a few minutes to gather your thoughts. Write down your thoughts on a piece of paper or notebook.
Avoid Contact With People Who Are Sick
Many people end up going to work even if they are sick. It is extremely important to stay home if you are sick so you can recuperate and prevent the germs from spreading. Diseases like the Coronavirus are spread quickly and have proven to be quite difficult to contain, so take the proper measures and stay away from others who are sick. As a caregiver, if you feel you are coming down with something, make the necessary arrangement for someone else to take care of your senior loved one until you recover if at all possible.
Seniors may have a lot of dietary restrictions that makes it difficult to do meal planning. And with a weaker immune system, it is even more important to give your elderly loved one healthy food. Protein in the form of fish, yogurt, fresh fruit and steamed vegetables is great for immunity, strength and overall health maintenance.
Seek Immediate Help If Symptoms Appear
Being proactive is the key to maintaining a senior’s health. No symptom should be overlooked and if you feel your senior is lacking strength, coming down with a cold, feeling weak or having difficulty walking, notify your doctor right away. Sometimes minor symptoms can indicate an underlying problem. Flu in seniors with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) or other respiratory problems can quickly escalate and become life-threatening. Seek immediate help from the doctor if any symptom appears.
Keep The Environment Clean
A clean and safe environment is not just safe for your senior but you as a caregiver as well. Since caregivers and seniors spend a lot of time together it is important to keep all belongings, pillboxes, cell phones, iPads and tables clean and sanitized. Dust can be a very strong allergen for those with severe asthma or respiratory issues. Keeping your environment clean and dust free is beneficial for everyone.
Chandler Hall remains committed to making informed decisions to ensure the safety of our residents and staff with timely COVID-19 updates. Please remain calm, continue to be vigilant, and stay tuned for additional information. We thank you for understanding and support during this epidemic.