Coronavirus Protection Strategies for Older Adults
Coronavirus or COVID-19 has created one of the deadliest pandemics in over a century. Although the virus itself is not as serious compared to the infamous Spanish Flu of 1918, it has demonstrated a tendency to affect older adults to a far greater degree compared to younger people. This means that coronavirus protection for older adults becomes paramount in protecting their health and perhaps their lives.
Although the overall death rate from coronavirus is less than 1%, nearly 15% of adults over the age of 80 have died from the virus. Plus, around 8% of adults over the age of 70 have succumbed to the disease as well. The numbers themselves are not that surprising since older adults are more vulnerable to viruses, bacterial infections, and the like compared to younger adults.
As adults age into seniors, the immune system begins to slow down. The reaction time decreases when an infection becomes present. Plus, seniors also have more health conditions ranging from high blood pressure to type 2 diabetes which only becomes more complicated when infected by the coronavirus. There is also a reduction of immune cells, which makes fighting infections even more difficult. Recovery time becomes longer which means added risk of complications.
How to Protect Yourself
For seniors and anyone who comes into contact with seniors, there are some simple methods you can employ to protect you and your loved ones:
- Stay at Home as Much as Possible
- Limit Travel to Destinations Where Others are Present
- Wash Your Hands Often
- Clean and Disinfect High Traffic Areas
- Act Quickly if Illness Strikes
Avoiding contact with others is the main defense against catching the coronavirus. However, that is almost impossible for most people. The next step is to protect yourself as much as possible by wearing a mask in public places, washing your hands frequently, and cleaning areas that experience a high amount of traffic.
If You Contract the Coronavirus
Even the best of precautions may not totally protect you from getting the virus. If you start to feel the symptoms associated with the virus, the next step you take will depend on the severity of the condition.
Keep in mind that most people, especially those under 70 will only experience mild symptoms from COVID-19. If you are not having difficulty breathing and you are able to consume food and water easily, the recommendation is that you call your heath practitioner and stay at home. You should isolate yourself as much as possible from the rest of the household.
However, if you are having difficulty breathing or the symptoms are lasting longer than a few days, then seek medical assistance immediately. Call your health practitioner but be prepared for a hospital stay. The earlier you get treatment, the greater the odds of a full recovery.
For seniors over the age of 70, having the proper coronavirus protection is paramount. Until a vaccine can be developed, it is recommended that older adults minimize contact with others, wash hands frequently, and wear masks when going into the public.