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How to protect the elderly from Coronavirus?

The elderly are one of the main risk groups for Coronavirus, with a high mortality rate. It is important to know how to protect them, whether alone or in the family home. Do you know what to do?

How to protect the elderly from Coronavirus?
Margarida Gamboa
by Margarida Gamboa
One of the challenges and differences of the Coronavirus in relation to other existing viruses is its long incubation time - up to 14 days -, a period in which it can already be transmitted to other people without the carrier knowing that he has the disease. And that is one of the reasons why social isolation is so important.

It is also already a fact, among the statistics of all affected countries, that the elderly are the age group most at risk, with the age group above 70 years with a large percentage of all deaths in the world by COVID-19. If, in addition to being in this age group, the person has diabetes, hypertension, respiratory, cardiological, renal or neurological problems, he has an even greater risk of death if he contracts the disease. That is why, in the case of the elderly, social isolation is not only advisable, but in many places, mandatory.

But how can we protect the elderly?

The elderly (parents, grandparents, ...) live alone

The first question to be considered is whether it is preferable to remain alone or to live temporarily with children or grandchildren, especially if they already have some mobility or other difficulties. In more serious cases, where communication is complicated and the person is dependent on the support of others, it is preferable that he move temporarily to the family home.
Before the move, and if possible, people who will receive the elderly should be in social isolation for 14 days and naturally have no symptoms of the disease, to be sure they are not carriers.

If they stay at home, it is important to understand whether, in the place where the elderly live, they can have support to maintain their isolation. If they live nearby, family members will be able to make the necessary purchases and deliver. Always take care to disinfect everything before handing over and always keep a distance of 1 meter (ideally, do not even enter the house). In smaller places, this support often exists between the neighbors themselves.

The situation of social isolation in the home is always ideal, so only when it is not possible should you choose other solutions.

What if you have elderly people living with you?

If you have elderly people (or other people at risk groups) living with you, you should take some extra care, relatively similar to what you will have if you have an infected person.
You should have your own bedroom and bathroom for people at risk, so as not to share more personal spaces and where everyone touches the surfaces.

Although they live together, avoid kissing each other. Keep some social distance whenever possible.

Prevent the elderly person from doing tasks in which he handles the same things as all the other inhabitants of the house, such as cooking. It is important to stay active but they can have their own activities.

In common spaces, have a defined place for the elderly person, as the chair for meals, or the lounge chair. Other family members should avoid touching (such as sneezing or coughing) these places, except when cleaning.

Provide good ventilation and cleaning of the house, to keep the air as clean and fresh as possible.

If any family member notices symptoms (even if very mild) that may be of Coronavirus, they should immediately isolate themselves from the rest of the family. The elderly person must also remain in isolation until the relative's illness is confirmed.

Thus, while not being as restrictive as the measures of a confirmed infected person, there are several extra precautions to take that can make all the difference if a family member contracts COVID-19.

What are the recommendations of the World Health Organization to prevent the spread of Coronavirus

It is always important to remember the WHO recommendations.

. Wash your hands very often with soap and water, rubbing them well for at least 20 seconds;
. It is mandatory to wash your hands before and after preparing food, before meals, after using the bathroom and whenever your hands are dirty;
. If you cannot wash your hands, use an alcohol-based solution instead;
. Use tissue paper to blow or cover your mouth when coughing. Throw away after use. After using wash your hands.
. When you don't have handkerchiefs, cough or sneeze into your arm with your elbow flexed, not your hands;
. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with your hands.

You can consult them in detail in our article How to avoid Coronavirus?.
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