The Central government of India has issued a statement and asked all senior citizens (above the age of 65) to stay at home for the next few weeks since the infection affects the elderly the most. These advisory regulations are effective on everyone above 65 except for public representatives, govt. servants or medical professionals.
Although the coronavirus can spread to anyone, it is the elderly population that poses a severe threat towards getting infected. Elderly citizens above the age of 60 and above have an already compromised immune system. Be it diabetes, heart disease or lung disease, exposure to this lethal virus can aggravate the present comorbidity to life-threatening levels such as pneumonia or respiratory failure.
According to CDC and based on the latest data so far, people ages 60 and up who have multiple co-morbid conditions are at higher risk of the novel coronavirus infection symptoms of which include fever, dry cough, and difficulty in breathing, and it is primarily spread between people via airborne droplets. Coronavirus: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment
If we have an elderly at home with a serious underlying medical condition, ask them to follow these steps:
Encourage them to practice hand hygiene by washing hands often preferably with soap and water for 20 seconds.
Make sure they stay out of crowded places.
Keep a watch so that they sanitise their hands before touching their nose or mouth.
Prevent getting them coming into close contact with already sick people.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched services.
Avert them from taking cruise travels and non-essential air travels
Put distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community.
Cancel non-essential doctor’s appointment or any kind of hospital visit, if you have an elderly at home.
Isolate yourself or any other family member from the elderly person as soon as you witness any ongoing symptoms.
With the threatening conditions throughout the world, elderly people often get stressed and worked up during the crisis. Fear and anxiety about the COVID-19 pandemic can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions.
How To Handle Emergency?
If you have elderly parents at home, you need to be ready always to face all kinds of emergencies.
Keep their medicines handy, at all times. In the case of diabetics or heart patients, it is advisable to keep blood sugar and blood pressure monitors at hand to check the vitals immediately.
In case, if you find blood sugar going down and if the patient is going into a hypoglycemic mode, give chocolate, sugar or honey as per the doctor’s advice. High blood sugars and blood pressure are also quite unpleasant situations, in such cases, dial the doctor immediately to change the dosage or to tweak the medicine.
Keep the emergency contact numbers ready. Note down the contact numbers of ambulances, doctors to reach out without any delay.
Pharmacies are under essential services. Do not panic but stock medicines at least for the next few weeks.
You can also dial helpline numbers provided by the authorities.
Follow These Precautionary Measures To Support The Elderly Person, You Are Looking After At Home:
Hearing continuously about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting. Make sure the elderly person takes a break from reading, watching or listening to news stories and social media.
Make time to unwind yourself. Do some activities and spend more time with family especially if you have someone elderly to keep them happy and occupied.
Make sure they are eating healthy, well-balanced food and include more vitamin C rich foods in their diet to strengthen their immunity as much as possible.
Ensure they get adequate hydration so as to refrain from getting a dry throat.
Try to imbibe some basic exercises in their daily routine to keep them fit and active.
Connect with them to understand their concerns and emotions and try to support as much as possible.
FROM AWARD-WINNING AUTHOR DR GOVIND SHUKLA, NUTRITION EXPERT
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Govind Shukla, Specializes in Pharmacology, Toxicology, Nutraceuticals & Herbal Drugs has published More than 100 research papers in National & International Journals. He is also a reviewer of International Journal of Pharmacology & pharmacotherapeutics, Chief editor of IJPNR Journal & Freelance Medical Writer for Different publication Groups including Lambert Academic Publishing Saarbrucken, Germany.