COVID-19 Myths That May Affect Seniors

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COVID-19 Myths That May Affect Seniors



The amount of information available concerning the COVID-19 virus is overwhelming. While much of it is good, important information that caregivers and older adults need to know, some of it isn’t. There are many myths concerning the virus that are floating around, sometimes making it hard to know what is true and what isn’t. Below are some common myths that could be affecting your aging relative.

Myth: There’s no point in wearing a homemade mask—they don’t help.
Truth: So, this myth is partially true, which is what makes it confusing for so many people. A homemade mask won’t protect a healthy older adult from getting the virus. However, a mask can prevent someone who has the virus from spreading it to others through respiratory droplets. That’s important because it is possible for someone who isn’t yet showing symptoms and doesn’t know they have the virus to transmit it to others. Therefore, for the sake of other people in their community, your aging relative should wear a mask whenever they are out in public.

An elder care provider can remind your aging relative to put on a mask when leaving the house to run errands and assist them with putting it on, if needed.

Myth: Only the mouth needs to be covered with a mask.
Truth: People may think that respiratory droplets only come out of the mouth, but when a person sneezes, they can also come from the nose. Therefore, the mask should cover both the nose and mouth. Some other guidelines to follow for masks are:

  • Make sure the mask fits snugly on both sides of the face.
  • Secure the mask using elastic ear loops or ties.
  • Masks should have more than one layer of fabric.
  • The older adult should be able to breathe while wearing the mask.
  • Homemade masks should be washable and should not change shape after washing.

Elder care providers can ensure seniors are wearing masks correctly and can also launder them when needed.

Myth: The virus can be killed by putting alcohol or chlorine on the skin.
Fact: Diluted chlorine bleach is an effective disinfectant for household surfaces and hand sanitizers that contain alcohol are good for removing germs from hands. However, rubbing bleach or alcohol on the senior’s skin will not remove the virus from their body. In fact, it can be dangerous, causing severe harm to the skin.

Elder care providers can help older adults to wash their hands and body using gentle soaps, making sure they don’t use cleaners that may be harmful to them.


Sources
https://tricare.mil/CoveredServices/BenefitUpdates/Archives/05_04_2020_Myths_vs_Facts_Face_Masks_and_Stress
https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/coronavirus-myths-explored

If you or an aging loved one are considering elder care in Westminster, CO, please contact the caring staff at SYNERGY HomeCare West Denver. Call today: (720) 263-6060.​

Shanna Tourtlotte

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