As the new normal sets in, people are slowly adjusting to the new way of living. Putting on masks has become an essential part of one’s dressing. Public spaces are gradually opening up, however, with precautions on safety.
The pandemic has caused a paradigm shift in people’s everyday life. The age group most affected are the seniors. According to the CDC, adults aged 60 years or older are highly likely to be infected by the Covid-19 virus. This puts them at a higher risk than any other age group.
Individuals aged 60 to 70 are at a higher risk of suffering from a severe illness than those aged 50. As they advance in age, the risk of contracting the virus gets even higher.
Why Seniors Are Affected Most
Since the inception of the virus in Wuhan, China, approximately 74% of the individuals who have succumbed to the virus are adults aged 65 and above. Older people are more susceptible to being infected due to their aging immune systems.
For your immune system to actively suppress an incoming threat (virus), it has to perform the following tasks to the threat:
Among the elderly, these four activities tend to be dysfunctional with age hence the group being at a high risk of falling sick.
More so, individuals with underlying health conditions fall into the high-risk category of contracting the virus. More often than not, seniors tend to have health conditions such as diabetes, respiratory problems or heart disease.
How Can You Protect Your Loved One?
Prevention is highly preferable to administering the cure. How you take care of your senior will ultimately dictate the outcome and susceptibility to the virus.
Protective Face Masks
Ensure your loved one is adequately equipped with the necessary safety precautions to safeguard their health. It is essential that you provide a continuous supply of face masks, either surgical masks or the N95 kind to your loved one.
Some may be experiencing a problem with their memory, or they might fail to understand the essence behind a face covering. It is prudent that you continuously issue a gentle reminder of their need to put on a mask as they go out in public.
A visual reminder by the door will help remind them to check whether they have a face-covering with them before they step out.
One of the safety precautions enlisted by the CDC is the continuous practice of handwashing. You need to guide your elderly on the frequency and duration required to clean their hands.
Include a hand sanitiser in their care bags whenever they step out and remind them to sanitize while in public spaces frequently.
Support and Reassurance
During these times, you must maintain a continuous channel of communication with your loved one. As people grow older, they are more likely to live alone. Statistics show that 28% of older persons tend to live alone.
Encourage your loved one to embrace technology as opposed to in-person communication. Old-timers may have resistance towards modern communication; however, you need to reassure them that it is for their safety.
You can take into consideration various home care options for your loved one, either through home based care or a nursing home to avoid them being alone during the pandemic.
You should pop in once in a while to check in on them, with all safety precautions considered, of course. Remember to thoroughly sanitize and wear a face mask while in their presence.
If possible, get a Covid-19 test administered to you before planning a visit to prevent any chances of virus transmission.
The pandemic seems to be here to stay. With physical distancing being a common practice, older adults may feel more secluded and isolated than ever before. Reach out to your loved ones and send them a care package to remind them that you are all still connected amidst the pandemic.
Thank you for reading!