How can we keep the elderly protected during the pandemic?

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Neucrad Health May 9, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted all strata of society. However, older adults have a high risk of fatality after contracting the SARS-CoV-2 infection than the younger generation. According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, 8 out of every 10 patients dying in the United States due to COVID-19 belongs to the age group 65 years and older. The situation is almost the same in other countries as well.

Overall data accumulated from various countries suggest that from 0 to 39 years, the fatality rate of COVID-19 is 0.2 per cent. It increases to 3.6 per cent among 60 to 69 years and rises to 14.8 per cent in the population above 80 years. In such a condition, the younger generation must take special care of older people, so that they do not face any trouble both physically and psychologically during the pandemic. Let us have a look at the ways of taking care of older adults.

Stay at Home As Much As Possible

Home, Virus, Covid-19, Coronavirus, Corona, Quarantine

The older population should not venture out of the house as much as possible. In India, people in the upper age bracket, mostly stay with their sons or daughters. In such a scenario, people above 60 years should not leave the house for buying grocery or other essential tasks. The younger generation can take care of these activities. Even if older adults are staying alone, they should order all essential commodities online. They should also pay the utility bills (electricity, water, internet, satellite TV channels, and mobile phone) through electronic gateways.

Paying Attention to Hygiene

Hand Sanitizer, Sanitize, Sanitizer

Since the older population belongs to the vulnerable group in the pandemic; they should be extra cautious about hygiene. Wash your hands after every few hours with soap or an alcohol-based sanitizer. The SARS-CoV-2 virus consists of an RNA core present within a capsid of matrix protein and glycoprotein projections. Weak non-covalent bonds exist between the RNA, proteins, and lipids. So, when this virus comes in contact with the active ingredients of soap or an alcohol-based sanitizer, the structure falls off like a pack of cards. It is also wise to wash clothes, towels, curtains, and bed sheets regularly to prevent the building up of germs in the house.

Hands, Wash, Soap, Foam, Health, Corona

Paying Attention to the Diet

Limit the carbohydrate content in meals and add on the protein. Try to include eggs, fish, meat, or pulses regularly on the menu. Eat fresh fruits like apple, grapes, banana, oranges, and mangoes during breakfast. They are rich in antioxidants which negates the free radicals in the body. Fruits also contain a high dose of vitamins and minerals which improve the immunity. These healthy habits keep you safe not only from the coronavirus but also from other diseases.

Fruit, Fruits, Fruit Salad, Fresh, Bio

Practise Social Distancing but Not Social Isolation

Social Distancing, Covid-19, Coronavirus

It is essential to practice social distancing by maintaining 6 feet distance while interacting with elderly family members, but, do not socially isolate them. They have become emotionally vulnerable now, thanks to the prolonged lockdown announced in various countries. The aged are longing for the company of near and dear ones. Visit their room;  however, maintain distance while talking to them.

Sanitise the door handles, window sill, chairs and sofa repeatedly if there is an old member in your house. If your parents are staying alone, video call them through WhatsApp and Google Meet regularly to remain connected. Ask about their wellbeing and be positive about the outcome of the pandemic. It would offer them the much-needed boost to fight the outbreak both physically and psychologically. They can do light exercise or yoga for being physically fit and flexible.

Yoga, Zen, Meditation, Position, Relax

These were some important strategic plans to taking care of older adults during the COVID-19 pandemic. Stay at home and be safe; together, we can come out of the outbreak unscathed.

References:

1.     Coronavirus and COVID-19: Caregiving for the Elderly

2.     Loneliness and Social Isolation in Older Adults During the Covid-19 Pandemic: Implications for Gerontological Social Work

3.     Dementia care during COVID-19

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