Seniors & Coronavirus: Protecting Your Loved One from Pathogens

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COVID-19, often called coronavirus, is a new viral disease that’s spreading rapidly around the globe. Coronavirus is especially problematic for seniors because the immune system gets weaker with age, so seniors are very susceptible to the pneumonia and breathing difficulties commonly associated with the virus. Those over the age of 65 have a fatality rate of about 11 percent, while those over 85 have a fatality rate of about 27 percent. To keep you and your senior loved one as safe as possible, here are a few things you can do to reduce the risk of catching the virus. 

Clean Your Hands Regularly

Most people infected with coronavirus get it by being near people with the virus who sneeze or cough or by touching surfaces with infected respiratory droplets and then touching their eyes, noses, or mouths. Removing the virus from your hands before touching your face or eating is an effective prevention method. If possible, use soap and hot water to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds. Otherwise, using a hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol content can greatly reduce the spread of the virus. 

If your loved one needs help following healthy habits that boost his or her immune system, a home caregiver can be a wonderful source of support. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of in-home care. Rhode Island families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia.

Stay at Home

According to the CDC, the best way to prevent infection is to stay at home as much as possible and to stay at least six feet away from others when you do need to go out. For seniors, this means those who cannot live independently will do best in home care situations where they only see a single dedicated caregiver. Going to crowded areas like assisted living facilities increases the chance of coming into contact with infected people. Seniors should only leave home for emergencies or essential errands like getting food. Switching to video calls instead of having visitors, taking walks inside the home instead of going to the gym, and cooking at home instead of eating out can help seniors enjoy their time while minimizing physical contact. 

To keep your loved one from having to go out, a home caregiver can run errands for him or her, including shopping for groceries and picking up prescriptions. If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of elder care. Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives.

Disinfect Home Surfaces Often

Since the coronavirus can survive on surfaces for a few days, you should also take the time to clean commonly touched surfaces each day. If you cannot find standard household disinfectants, try mixing a diluted solution of bleach and water to clean surfaces. You can also use basic soap and water, which can remove the virus from surfaces even if it doesn’t immediately kill all viral particles. Surfaces you may need to clean include tables, doorknobs, walkers, light switches, faucets, grab rails, and phones.

Know How to Recognise Dangerous Symptoms

Key corona virus symptoms include fever, a dry cough, shortness of breath, and the loss of smell and taste. Symptoms can be mild and easily confused with those of other illnesses. Therefore, anyone experiencing general flu- or cold-like symptoms shouldn’t come into contact with your loved one. If your loved one is exhibiting these symptoms, seek emergency medical care. 

Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Rhode Island family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity. Rely on the professionals at Home Care Assistance to provide high-quality compassionate care for your loved one. Give us a call today at (401) 284-0979 to learn about our flexible in-home care plans.

With information surrounding corona virus/COVID-19 changing by the hour, it’s challenging to stay updated on the most recent best practices for keeping seniors safe at home. At Home Care Assistance, we understand how critical it is for seniors and their caregivers to protect against corona virus as much as possible. All our team members have received detailed communication on infection control protocols, including effective cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces and hands. Our caregivers can pick up medications, groceries, and anything else a senior needs, minimizing their interaction with large groups of people. For more information on how Home Care Assistance helps protect clients, click here:


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