What Can Older Adults Do to Protect Themselves from COVID-19?

The spread of the COVID-19 virus is what’s on the minds of most people these days. More specifically, people are concerned with protecting themselves and their families from the virus. This may be especially true for older adults and the people who care for them. One of the best ways to protect your older family member is to be informed about how the disease spreads and the recommended steps for preventing it.

How COVID-19 Spreads

When you understand how the virus spreads, you’ll be better able to protect yourself and your aging relative from catching it. As of today, there is no vaccination available for the disease, so the only way to protect against the virus is to avoid it.

Experts believe the virus is mainly spread from person to person. The virus is thought to spread most easily when people get within 6 feet of one another. When a person who is infected with the virus coughs or sneezes, the virus spreads in the respiratory droplets that are produced. The droplets can be breathed in or get into an uninfected person’s nose or mouth. It may even be possible for people who don’t have symptoms of the virus to spread it.

5 Steps for Protecting Older Adults

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends people take the following 5 steps to protect themselves from the virus:

Wash Hands: Your aging relative should wash their hands frequently for at least 20 seconds each time using soap and water. In cases when soap and water are not available, hand sanitizer that contains alcohol will do the job. Hand sanitizer should have at least 60 percent alcohol in it. It is especially important to wash hands after going out of the house, coughing, or sneezing. Seniors should not touch their faces with unwashed hands.

Avoid Contact: Stay away from people who are ill. But, remember that it may be possible for people to spread symptoms even when symptoms are not present. That’s why seniors should stay at home as much as possible and stay at least 6 feet away from others when they do go out.

Use a Mask: The CDC now suggests that anyone leaving the house should wear a cloth mask over their mouth and nose. The mask is meant to protect others in case the person is carrying COVID-19 and does not know it.

Cover Coughs and Sneezes: When not wearing a face mask, people should cough or sneeze into a tissue. When a tissue isn’t available, cough into the crook of an elbow. This prevents germs from getting on hands where they can be spread more easily.

Clean and Disinfect: Surfaces that are touched frequently should be disinfected every day. Wipe down doorknobs, faucets, counters, light switches, keyboards, etc.

Home care services providers can assist your aging relative to follow the steps to protect themselves from the virus. For example, a home care services provider can remind the senior to wear a mask when going out of the house, also helping them to put it on. Home care services providers can also ensure the senior washes their hands often. Another thing that home care services can do is keep the older adult’s disinfected by wiping down surfaces with a disinfectant cleaner every day.

Sources:  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html

If you or an aging loved-one are considering Home Care Services in Michigan, please talk to the caring staff at Hope Senior Home Care today 313.881.3132.