The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a lot of uneasiness and restlessness among communities, especially the senior community.
Seniors with underlying conditions are more susceptible to getting COVID-19 and its more life-threatening symptoms. Because of their high vulnerability, seniors should take extra precautions and seek assisted senior care during this pandemic.
Everyone, especially seniors are advised to take the necessary precautions to help prevent themselves from contracting the disease, as well as prevent the spread of it.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lays out six ways to stay safe during this pandemic.
1. First, know how the virus spreads.
Currently, there is no vaccine for COVID-19, so the CDC recommends the best way to avoid catching the virus, is to avoid being exposed to it. The virus can be spread through respiratory droplets that come out when one sneezes, coughs or simply talks. If these droplets land on or in a person’s nose or mouth, the virus can then unknowingly be ingested. This is why the CDC advises people so social distance and be at least 6 feet apart from people.
2. Wash your hands
This simple act of washing your hands regularly can help with reducing the spread of the virus. Wash your hands for 20 seconds, making sure you clean every aspect of your hands, especially after sneezing, coughing, or having just been in a public place.
If you don’t have immediate access to hand soap, try to have hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol on hand to cleanse your hands.
If you can’t wash your hands or disinfect them immediately, avoid touching your mouth, nose and eyes.
3. Social Distance
Avoid contact with people who are not in your immediate household.
If someone is sick or showing signs of COVID-19, avoid close contact with them, but also be aware that some people with the virus may be asymptomatic.
4. Wear a face mask in public
If you do have to go out into public areas, cover your mouth and nose with a face mask or a makeshift-face mask to protect yourself and others.
5. Make sure you cover your coughs and sneezes
To best avoid spreading the virus, cover your nose and mouth with your elbow or a kleenex when you have to sneeze or cough. And then wash your hands immediately after.
6. Regularly clean and disinfect
Clean items you touch daily with disinfectant wipes, such as your phone, keyboard, countertops and doorknobs.
Symptoms of COVID-19
As well as knowing what safety precautions to take, it is also important to know what the symptoms of COVID-19 are. The CDC notes that symptoms can occur 2-14 days after exposure and may include a cough, shortness of breath OR any two of these symptoms: fever, chills, muscle pain, chills, headache, sore throat or new loss of taste/smell.
If you or your loved one needs assistance, especially during this pandemic, an assisted living facility can be the best choice if you can’t care for them yourself.
An assisted living center is better than a nursing home if your loved one wants to avoid contact with a lot of people. There is usually a max of 10 people per assisted living home, compared to upwards of 60 people in a nursing home.
Also, in an assisted living home, there is usually an on-staff nurse who is on call 24/7 and can help assist your loved one with their medical needs. The nurse is also able to monitor your loved one for any COVID-19 symptoms.
To help give you peace of mind, assisted living homes also oftentimes have care managers that keep in touch with your loved ones primary physicians. They also can help update you on your loved one’s condition(s).
Living in a world of uncertainty can be scary, but knowing the right precautions to take to ensure your health is not compromised, allows for some stability. Protect yourselves and your loved ones by washing your hands, social distancing and taking care of yourself.
About the Author
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.