Coronavirus is a new virus strain that’s causing widespread concern worldwide, and, according to the CDC, it’s now present in all 50 U.S. states. While it presents a risk for everyone, older adults are especially susceptible to developing serious health issues because of this new illness. Here’s a closer look at why COVID-19 is so dangerous for older adults along with some tips to keep in mind to help your senior loved one stay safe.
Older Immune Systems Have Difficulty with New Challenges
The main reason COVID-19 is so dangerous for older adults is because older immune systems aren’t as adept at handling new harmful invaders (pathogens) as they once were. Part of the reason for this is because special white blood cells (T-cells) that prepare the immune system for new challenges become less effective with age. The solution is to encourage your loved one to take steps to boost his or her immune system functions as much as possible by:
• Eating more fruits, veggies, and other foods that provide an immune system boost
• Finding ways to exercise on a daily basis
• Getting sufficient sleep
• Washing hands thoroughly to minimize germ exposure
If your loved one needs help preparing healthy meals and exercising safely, a home caregiver can be a wonderful source of support. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of elderly home care. Tucson families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia.
Existing Respiratory Issues Can Make It Difficult to Fight COVID-19
A large portion of the 450 million people affected by pneumonia worldwide each year are seniors, and severe pneumonia can develop with coronavirus. Because COVID-19 is primarily a respiratory ailment, having existing issues of this nature can make this new illness especially dangerous for the elderly. Encourage your loved one to be mindful of the doctor’s advice if he or she already has respiratory issues.
Coronavirus Is Easily Spread
COVID-19 is also dangerous for older adults because it’s easy to spread. Your loved one may be able to reduce exposure to the virus by limiting in-person contact as much as possible. Ways to accomplish this goal include:
• Postponing large family gatherings
• Using social media to stay connected
• Considering home delivery options whenever possible
• Having only one family member provide daily or regular care that’s necessary
• Considering in-home care if additional assistance is needed, since it’s easier to control the environment at home versus in an assisted living facility
To keep your loved one from having to go out, a home caregiver can run errands for him or her, including shopping for groceries and picking up prescriptions. If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of senior care. Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives.
Underlying Health Issues Can Increase the Risk
According to the National Council on Aging (NCOA), eighty percent of older adults have at least one chronic health condition, which is one other reason COVID-19 can be dangerous for older adults. Underlying health issues can further compromise the immune system and make it difficult to fight a new virus. If your loved one has one or more chronic conditions or illnesses, talk to the doctor about precautions your loved one can take to stay safe and ways to address existing health issues.
Aging in place can present a few unique challenges for older adults. Some only require part-time assistance with exercise or meal preparation, while others are living with serious illnesses and benefit more significantly from receiving live-in care. Tucson, AZ, Home Care Assistance are leaders in the elderly in-home care industry for good reason. We tailor our care plans based on each senior’s individual needs, our caregivers continue to receive updated training in senior care as new developments arise, and we also offer comprehensive care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s. If you need professional home care for your loved one, our Care Managers are just a phone call away. Reach out to Home Care Assistance today at (520) 214-5440.
With information surrounding coronavirus/COVID-19 changing by the hour, it’s challenging to stay updated on the most recent best practices for keeping seniors safe at home. At Home Care Assistance, we understand how critical it is for seniors and their caregivers to protect against coronavirus as much as possible. All our team members have received detailed communication on infection control protocols, including effective cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces and hands. Our caregivers can pick up medications, groceries, and anything else a senior needs, minimizing their interaction with large groups of people. For more information on how Home Care Assistance helps protect clients, click here: https://www.homecareassistancetucson.com/covid-19-home-care/.