As the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic makes its way across the globe, filling hospital beds at a rapid pace, you’re likely full of questions.
Many people now know that seniors are at high risk of contracting the virus, especially if they have pre-existing conditions. In fact, to date, seniors make up eight out of 10 U.S. deaths from COVID-19.
So what can I do to keep your elderly loved ones safe and healthy?
First, while this is certainly an alarming statistic, don’t panic; there are things you can do to protect your elderly loved one from contracting the virus. Here are the top five:
Urge Them to Stay at Home
If your elderly loved one is able to stay at home, that’s their best bet for staying healthy. The COVID-19 virus is spread through respiratory droplets from person-to-person exposure, so the more you limit their exposure to other people, the better.
Help them stock up on groceries to ride out the storm. Many supermarkets across the countries have designated seniors-only shopping hours in the morning; call your local store to see if they’ve enacted this policy. And to help reduce stress while your elderly loved one is stuck inside, call them regularly to check in.
Stress the Importance of Cleanliness
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that everyone wash their hands frequently and thoroughly. Make sure your elderly loved one washes their hands regularly for at least 20 seconds, being sure to get underneath their fingernails and between their knuckles. Hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol will also get the job done. Additionally, encourage them to clean and disinfect regularly touched surfaces throughout the day.
Practice Social Distancing Yourself
If you need to be in close quarters with your elderly loved one to provide care, make sure you’re practicing social distancing yourself. Stay at home if possible, and if you do need to go out, remember that the CDC recommends avoiding large crowds and keeping 6 feet apart from others as much as possible.
Secure Extra Medication
It’s up in the air how long this pandemic will last; stay-at-home orders could remain in place for weeks or more. With that in mind, contact your elderly loved one’s healthcare provider to request extra necessary medications to ensure they’re stocked up—and make sure to additionally pick up over-the-counter medications they use frequently.
Contact Their Healthcare Provider
While healthcare professionals are certainly busy, that doesn’t mean your elderly loved one can’t get in touch with their doctor to talk about their concerns! This is especially important if your elderly loved one has a pre-existing condition.
And if your elder requires prompt care for an urgent illness or injury, encourage them to stay put and get care delivered with DispatchHealth.
DispatchHealth is Here to Help
During this stressful time, DispatchHealth has your back. While we’re unable to test for COVID-19 at this time due to the nationwide shortage of testing supplies, we continue to provide in-home care for urgent health needs seniors commonly face, helping them to stay at home and reduce their risk of contracting the virus. We’re responding to COVID-19 by following all CDC guidelines to keep our patients and providers safe. Our providers are required to wear protective equipment including masks, gloves and eye protection to every patient visit. For patients with respiratory symptoms, they also wear booties and gowns. They’re also wiping down gear before and after every visit, including disinfecting our vehicles thoroughly.
You can rely on us to be there for your elderly loved one during this challenging time. Request care via our app, our website, or over the phone, and we’ll be at your doorstep within a few hours.
Note: As COVID-19 information is evolving, we’re committed to providing timely updates.
Visit dispatchhealth.com/covid-19 for the most up-to-date information.
DispatchHealth relies only on authoritative sources, including medical associations, research institutions, and peer-reviewed medical studies.
Sources referenced in this article: