Coronavirus can be dangerous to anyone who catches it, but the elderly are more vulnerable than others. The risk of illness is higher among them as they may require hospitalization for intensive care and ventilator support for breathing. The chances of death are also higher. Medical experts believe that people age 50 and above can easily succumb to COVID-19 than those in their 40s or younger. Similarly, the risks for 60 and 70 plus are more than those in the 50s. And if they are 85 or beyond, the chances of COVID-19 casualty can even be higher.
Anyway, there is an overall understanding of their vulnerabilities in this crisis. And that’s why the lockdown rules have not eased in the same way as they have for young people. As a caregiver and a family member too, it becomes your responsibility to take care of them. The adage ‘prevention is better than cure’ is the right solution for them, especially if they have a preexisting medical condition. Here are some suggestions that can guide you about what you can do for them.
Brian C Jensen: How to take care of the seniors’ health and wellness?
The self-isolation and social distancing orders can make your loved ones miss their walks, conversations, and evening teatime stories. Since it used to be their daily routine, they can feel terrible for no longer having them. You can help them overcome this by teaching them a thing or two about technology. Let them join online video calls, live yoga classes, and meditations, etc. Introducing them to technology can be beneficial to their mental and emotional wellbeing.
Physical and mental health
As Brian C Jensen points out, the fear of infection has caused immense damage to mental health. If someone is living alone, they tend to be even more worried. You have to check on them regularly to ensure their mental health. Since they cannot go for regular medical checkups, you can set up an online appointment with their physician to make sure everything is alright.
When you meet an aged person, make sure you follow all the preventive measures, such as sanitization and wearing face covers. Simultaneously, educate them about the virus to help them have an objective view of the situation and not panic or trust any fake information. You should also teach them the type of precautions they should take daily. Also, let them know why following physical distancing and lockdown guidelines are vital for their health.
All these things are necessary to keep in mind when you have an older person in your home or life. At the same time, you will not want them to feel alone in this crisis. So, keep in touch with them even if you don’t live in the same household. You can call them in between your free time to know what they are doing and how their health is. These little efforts on your end can empower them during this pandemic; they can slowly and effectively adjust to this new reality with your support.