The Victorian Assisted Living is taking all the necessary precautions to keep our residents safe. It’s important that you keep up to date with the ways to prevent the spread of coronavirus – especially for seniors because of their susceptibility. There are specific precautions older adults can take to lower their risk of contracting this possibly fatal virus. Please follow the necessary precautions listed below to help your senior loved ones overcome this in the best way possible.
What is Coronavirus?
Coronaviruses are a type of virus. There are many different kinds, and some cause disease. A newly identified type has caused a recent outbreak of respiratory illness now called COVID-19 that started in China.
Humans first get a coronavirus from contact with animals. Then, it can spread from human to human. Health officials do not know what animal caused COVID-19.
The COVID-19 virus can be spread through contact with certain bodily fluids, such as droplets in a cough. It might also be caused by touching something an infected person has touched and then touching your hand to your mouth, nose, or eyes.
What Are the Symptoms of COVID-19?
COVID-19 symptoms range from mild to severe. It takes 2-14 days after exposure for symptoms to develop. Symptoms may include:
- shortness of breath
Those with weakened immune systems may develop more serious symptoms, like pneumonia or bronchitis. You may never develop symptoms after being exposed to COVID-19. So far, most confirmed cases are in adults, but some children have been infected. There is no evidence that children are at greater risk for getting the virus.
Why is COVID-19 So Dangerous to Seniors?
Seniors and people with severe chronic illness are more likely to become severely ill from Covid-19. Seniors or “older adults” are anyone age 60 and up, so people in that age group should be cautious. It’s possible to contract the virus at a younger age — it’s just more dangerous in older adults because the immune system weakens with age.
What precautions you should take now:
Clean your hands often
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid close contact
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Put distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
Stay home if you’re sick
- Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care. Learn what to do if you are sick.
Cover coughs and sneezes
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
- Throw used tissues in the trash.
- Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Wear a facemask if you are sick
- If you are sick: You should wear a facemask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. If you are not able to wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then you should do your best to cover your coughs and sneezes, and people who are caring for you should wear a facemask if they enter your room.
- If you are NOT sick: You do not need to wear a facemask unless you are caring for someone who is sick (and they are not able to wear a facemask). Facemasks may be in short supply and they should be saved for caregivers.
Clean and disinfect
- Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
- If surfaces are dirty, clean them: Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection
- Cancel all non-essential doctors appointments
- Alter your daily activities to avoid public spaces
- Eat right, get proper sleep, and exercise
- Avoid non-essential travel
Follow these 5 steps to washing your hands the right way:
- Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
- Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
- Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
- Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
- Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.
Is Self Isolation Necessary?
High-risk groups in communities with outbreaks should stay home as much as possible and that people who believe they’re sick should isolate themselves.
But long-term isolation can be damaging. So if you need to isolate yourself:
- Don’t cut off contact with family or friends.
- Keep in touch to update them on your condition and curb boredom.
Just exercise caution. It’s an individual choice, so if skipping out would reduce some anxiety, that’s fine, too.
And if you do go, be sure to wash your hands with soap.
How Senior Homes Can Help?
Senior care facilities have been preparing a long time for such pandemics.
The CDC provides training for long-term care facilities on how to operate during pandemics. If you’re concerned about the safety of your family member or want to learn about the protocol their facility is following, contact staff at the facility.
The CDC doesn’t recommend a blanket-ban on visitors — just those who show respiratory symptoms, like coughing and sneezing. And it goes without saying, but if you’re sick, don’t visit.
Lastly, What To Do If You’re Sick
If you think you have the novel coronavirus: Stay home and call your physician. If they think you should come in for a test, limit your interaction with other people and don’t use public transportation. They may provide a face mask for you to wear while in their office.
If your doctor is not immediately available: Consider calling a local coronavirus hotline. Some city, county and state health departments have numbers you can call to discuss your symptoms and learn more about the virus’s impact on the community. Keep in mind that these hotlines are meant as informational resources, and it’s impossible to diagnose Covid-19 without a test.
If you’re diagnosed with the novel coronavirus and your illness is mild: Your physician may advise that you stay home until you recover. If your symptoms are more severe, you may be hospitalized so physicians can monitor your condition.
(Article courtesy of The Victorian Senior Living.)
Kelly’s Retirement Homes are an Assisted Living Facility that honors and respects our residents and treats them with dignity. We provide the highest possible quality of compassionate care while ensuring each resident’s right to privacy and choice in their daily lives.
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