To get old is as hard as it is. As we get old, some of us have to go through all of the creeping ailments – diabetes, COPD, Alzheimer’s, dementia, heart disease, lung diseases etc. Now, if we add COVID-19 to the mix the life becomes even harder. There are more than 12,5000,000 COVID-19 cases and more than half a million deaths worldwide as of today (07.12.2020), but the virus doesn’t hit all demographics equally hard – and our seniors are the most vulnerable.

According Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), older adults and individuals no matter which age group they hail from, with underlying comorbidities such as, heart disease, lung disease or diabetes are particularly vulnerable to developing more serious complications from COVID-19 virus.

A study done by Journal of the American Medical Association in late February showed that children 10 and under accounted for just 1% of all COVID-19 cases, for example, while adults in the 30-79 age groups represented a whopping 87%. The World Health Organization (WHO) found something similar in China, with 78% of patients falling between the ages of 30 and 69.

According to these data our older population is at a serious risk of getting dangerously and disproportionately infected by the virus. To keep our seniors safe, we should all play our part. WHO, CDC and other healthcare agencies have presented some guidelines that our older generation can follow and minimize the risk of exposure to this virus. Following are some the guidelines that older adults should follow during this pandemic.

1. Minimize socializing:
The 1st thing that every healthcare agency is has outlined to avoid getting infected with the novel coronavirus is staying at home and avoid any unnecessary social gatherings. Since, COVID-19 is very contagious and spreads very easily from human to human minimizing socializing will also decrease the risk of getting exposed to the virus. The virus doesn’t come home if you don’t bring it back. So, older adults should stay at home and isolate themselves as much as possible to decrease the risk of the infection.

2. Wearing face masks:
Whenever you interact with someone you should always wear a mask. COVID-19 spreads when you come in contact with an infected person usually when they exhale. Masks are a simple yet a great way of protecting yourself against COVID-19 since they can effectively block the transmission for the virus from an infected person. There is still some debate going on as to how long the virus can last in air as aerosol. So, even if you don’t come directly in contact with an infected person you can still get infected if you are not wearing a mask. The virus stays in air for quite some time. First of all, don’t go out at all. If you have to go out always wear a mask.

3. Social distancing:
When outside observe social distancing as it is one of the most effective ways of protection against COVID-19. A minimum distance of 6 feet should be observed to minimize the risk of inhaling any virus.

4. Always wash your hands:
According to CDC and World Health Organization, washing hands with your regular soap for at least 20 seconds rinses away most of the virus if you unintentionally picked it up from somewhere. When outside, you should keep a hand sanitizer with you all the time. CDC suggests that you use a hand sanitizer that has at least 60% alcohol in it. CDC recommended hand sanitizers contain from 60% – 95% alcohol. So, washing your hands often or with a sanitizer are one the easiest and the most effective ways of protection against viruses. The preference however should be given to washing the hands.

5. Other ways to prevent coronavirus:
Always keep your hands clean. The World Health Organization also states that everyone should avoid touching their eyes, nose or mouth, particularly after touching unknown surfaces.
You should also try and keep at least a six feet distance between yourself and a person who is coughing or sneezing. If you have to cough try coughing in your elbow.
Groceries should be cleaned thoroughly. It’s better to have someone run your errands while you sit in self isolation. That way it reduces the risk of exposure to virus even more.
Anyone who feels unwell and suspects they may have coronavirus should stay home to limit spread of the disease. They should call their health care provider if the symptoms prolong or get worse.

For any assistance during this pandemic you can always contact Kandakacare. We have a very professional staff and we can help you get through this pandemic. We can do everything from running errands to being a social companion without compromising your health.

1. Characteristics of and Important Lessons from the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Outbreak in China

2. COVID-19 Guidance for Older Adults

3. COVID-19 updated guidelines for older adults

4. Protect yourself and others from the spread COVID-19
5. When and how to wash your hands

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