The COVID-19 pandemic is still ongoing months after it hit. Although we are halfway through the year, we are still seeing a spike of cases in the U.S. and it doesn’t look like life will get back to normal anytime soon.
Anyone is susceptible to getting the virus, but seniors with underlying conditions are posed to an even greater risk of developing the virus with more serious symptoms.
Although everyone is taking extra precautions when being around others and going into public settings, it is especially important that seniors take the necessary precautions and then some to protect themselves. It is also integral they maintain a healthy senior lifestyle during this time.
- According to the CDC, seniors should keep taking any medications they are currently on, as well as at least have a two-week supply of medications (prescription and non-prescription) on hand to limit trips to the pharmacy
- The CDC also notes for adults 65 and older to talk to their healthcare provider to make sure they are up-to-date on vaccinations, as well as talk to them about their underlying conditions, such as liver disease or a compromised immune system
- Lastly, the CDC says to get immediate medical attention for your underlying conditions. “Emergency departments have contingency infection prevention plans to protect you from getting COVID-19 if you need care for your underlying condition,” the CDC notes on their website.
Precautions Seniors Should Take
For seniors, making sure they follow all CDC guidelines regarding the COVID-19 pandemic is of utmost importance to their health. The best way to prevent getting the virus is to follow these guidelines:
- Wash Hands- Repeatedly wash hands throughout the day with soap and water and for at least 20 seconds. It is especially important to wash hands after having been in a public place, coughing, sneezing, or after blowing one’s nose.
a. If hand soap is not readily available, hand sanitizer of at least 60% alcohol is another cleansing option.
b. Keep hands away from the face, especially one’s eyes, mouth, and nose. Hands touch a lot of things and can easily contaminate one’s face if they are not washed.
- Refrain From Close Contact- For seniors living in an assisted living home, nursing homes, or are simply in a space with others, it is recommended to avoid close contact with people who are sick.
a. Stay six feet apart from people. With COVID-19 however, people can have the virus and be asymptomatic. Stick to staying six feet apart from people who have been around others, and especially when in a public setting.
b. Don’t gather in a group setting and avoid putting oneself in mass gatherings, especially if one is at high-risk for contracting the severe symptoms of COVID-19.
- Wear a Face Mask When Around Others- The virus is spread through the nose and mouth, therefore wearing a filtered face mask that covers both the nose and mouth, lessens the risk of contracting the virus.
a. A mask should be worn every time one is in public, all while still remaining six feet away from people.
- Cover Your Sneezes and Coughs- If one has to sneeze or cough, cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or use the inside of the elbow to contain droplets.
a. When done coughing or sneezing, throw tissues away and wash hands or sanitize thoroughly.
- Clean and Disinfect - More now than ever, cleaning is a must to prevent the spread of germs and the virus. Clean and disinfect areas that are touched often such as phones, controllers, doorknobs, toilets, light switches, etc.
In a time of uncertainty, one aspect seniors can hold onto is following all CDC guidelines. Although there is no vaccine yet for COVID-19, maintaining a healthy lifestyle (both physical and mental) of a good diet and activities to keep one’s mind in a good place, can help seniors get through this tough time.
Melissa Andrews is the Content Marketing Strategist for Paradise Living Centers, an assisted living center for seniors with locations in Paradise Valley and Phoenix, Arizona. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking and going on hiking trips with her siblings and cousins.
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