Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19): A guide for older adults

SYNERGY HomeCare

11111 South I-H 35 Frontage Road
Suite 103 Austin TX 78747

512-872-6116

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Coronavirus (COVID-19): A guide for older adults

As cases of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) rise in the United States, so do concerns about the illness. Early data shows that for most people who become ill with COVID-19, the symptoms are mild. However, some people, specifically older adults and those with chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease, seem to be at higher risk for more severe symptoms and complications. They are also more susceptible to contracting the virus.

Because the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that older adults are twice as likely to have serious COVID-19 illness, it is especially important for older adults and their loved ones to take precautions against the virus.

Older Adults more prone to Coronavirus








Why are older adults at greater risk?

Health officials continue to research the virus and are still learning about specific risk factors. The CDC believes that older adults may be more susceptible to the virus for two reasons:

1. As people age, their immune systems change, making it harder for their body to fight off diseases and infection, and

2. Many older adults are also more likely to have underlying health conditions that make it harder to cope with and recover from illness.

If I’m an older adult, what can I do to protect myself against COVID-19?

If you are an older adult or someone who has a chronic medical condition, you should follow all of the preventive measures recommended for everyone—that is wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds and avoid contact with anyone who is ill—plus you’ll want to take a few additional precautions.

Here’s what the CDC says you should do if you are at greater risk:

      • Stay at home as much as possible. If COVID-19 is spreading in your community, avoid crowds. Now is the time to consider, “Is there someone who can do grocery shopping for me? Is there a service that can run my errands for me?” Look into grocery delivery service in your area if possible, or ask a friend, family member or neighbor for help.
      • If COVID-19 is spreading in your community, you might need to stay home for prolonged periods of time, so make sure you have access to several weeks of medications and supplies. Ask your health care provider for extra prescription medications to have on hand. If you cannot get extra medications, consider using a mail order service.
      • Make sure you have enough household items and groceries in case you have to stay home for a prolonged period of time. Again, consider a grocery delivery service or home care service to assist with errands and shopping if possible.
      • Make a plan now for what to do if you get sick. Create a contact list of friends, family members, neighbors, doctors and others you can rely on for help. Research senior home care services. Some services provide meal preparation for seniors, grocery delivery, and sick-at-home care. If you have a caregiver, consider who can help you if he or she gets sick.
      • Watch for COVID-19 symptoms. Call your health care provider if you develop a fever, cough or shortness of breath

Talk to your doctor about your specific situation and whether there are other steps you should take.


I am concerned about an older loved one. What can I do to help?

Stay in Contact with Older Adults

Stay in contact with your loved one. If possible, help him or her get extra medications, non-perishable food and household items on hand. Create a plan in the event your loved one requires quarantined home care. Have a back-up plan for care in the event you or your loved one’s caregiver gets sick. If your loved one lives in a care facility, the CDC recommends you monitor the situation, ask about the health of the other residents frequently and know the protocol if there is an outbreak.


You are our number one priority
The health, safety, and well-being of our clients and their families is always our top priority. We continue to closely monitor information about the virus as it is released by reputable public health organizations like the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). We are committed to providing best practices for prevention and the most up-to-date information available.


Rest easy with our 6 steps of COVID-19 protocol for caregivers:

  1. Required to take their temperature daily
  2. Complete Fitness for Duty / Lack of Exposure questions before each visit
  3. Wash hands upon entering client's home
  4. Wear face masks when working around clients
  5. Wear gloves when touching clients
  6. Sanitize frequently-touched surfaces

At this time it is important to consider taking measures that may limit your exposure to your community, as well as learning about and implementing heightened hygiene protocols that can reduce your personal risk of contracting the Coronavirus and other infectious diseases. The current stance being taken towards prevention and protection has moved from a state of awareness to one of caution as more cases have been identified globally as well as within the United States.

The CDC has released information that those who are at the highest risk of developing acute symptoms from COVID-19 include the elderly, as well as immunocompromised individuals who would be more susceptible to the advanced stages, such as pneumonia and respiratory distress. In some instances so far, medical facilities have experienced higher volumes of concerned patients and skilled nursing facilities across the country are beginning to limit visitation and contact with the outside world to reduce the risk of person to person transmission within their vulnerable communities.

In an effort to support those senior citizens and people with weakened immune systems, our caregivers are able to provide necessary assistance with the Activities of Daily Living in the comfort and relative safety of your own home. SYNERGY HomeCare has increased training and awareness within our offices across the country regarding current best practices for preventing the contraction and transmission of community spread pathogens. We take every situation seriously, and are actively working with our staff and the available resources distributed by certain government agencies to improve the quality of service we can provide at this time.

Senior citizens and the disabled are a segment of our population that already regularly experiences periods of isolation due to climate and other factors, and we want to remain committed to our focus on providing compassionate care and companionship to our clients. Situations like this, where many schools, social gatherings, and local businesses are choosing to cancel events and close doors to the public, are critical times to ensure that those who are less capable of taking care of themselves have access to food, personal hygiene, and a support system that can monitor their well-being and keep them more secure than if they were on their own.

 

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