Elderly are More at Risk for Illnesses Like the Coronavirus
Coronavirus cases continue to crop up, and responses range from apathetic to panicky. Regardless of where you live, being prepared for a possible outbreak is a smart idea. This is especially true if you’re a senior citizen or the adult child of aging parents. It’s also crucial for senior caregivers since older Americans are at increased risk for contracting Coronavirus.
Here’s what you need to know.
How Serious is Coronavirus?
The coronavirus outbreak is still spreading around the world. At the time of this writing, hundreds are ill, and approximately 60 people have died in the U.S. While there’s no telling how far or for how long the virus will spread, health experts warn that the virus will inevitably spread throughout the country.
While this is a scary thought, panic won’t do us any good. Although the outbreak is a serious health risk, most people who get Coronavirus do not become seriously ill. In fact, only a small percentage require intensive care and treatment.
Who is Most at Risk of Coronavirus?
Right now, health experts believe that people with underlying conditions like diabetes and heart disease are most susceptible to the virus. In about 20% of cases (most of which affect seniors), Coronavirus causes severe pneumonia, which can lead to hospitalization or death. Severe cases of Coronavirus are most likely to crop up in environments where older people congregate or live together, like skilled nursing facilities and retirement homes.
In Washington State, for example, the Life Care Center in Kirkland, Washington, is the epicenter of the outbreak. Fortunately, health officials have issued several common-sense tips to help people avoid Coronavirus infection.
How to Avoid the Virus
Whether you or a loved one are elderly, living independently, or living in a care facility, these tips will help you avoid Coronavirus infection:
- Wash your hands. This is the simplest yet most effective tip health officials have for the general population. To reduce the risk of infection, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Dry them with a clean towel or let them air dry. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizers containing at least 60 percent alcohol at times when you can’t easily wash your hands.
- Avoid touching your face. Keep your hands away from your eyes, nose, and mouth. Touching your face is an easy way to introduce the virus into your body, and avoiding it will help you stay healthy.
- Stay at least 6 feet from sick people. If someone around you has cold- or flu-like symptoms, keep your distance. Experts recommend staying at least 6 feet away to avoid transmission.
Decreasing the Risk of Coronavirus
While Coronavirus will continue to spread, you can take proactive steps to reduce your risk of becoming infected. By following the tips above and seeking out a qualified, skilled, competent nursing facility like Senatobia Healthcare for yourself or a loved one, you can slash your chances of becoming ill or passing the virus on to someone else. Ready to learn more? Contact us today.