Disease Prevention & Control, Health & Nutrition

Coronavirus and Seniors : What to Know & How to Prepare

COVID19 - How to Protect Older People From the Coronavirus

People ages 60 and up are at higher risk of novel coronavirus infection. Symptoms include fever, dry cough and difficulty in breathing, and it’s primarily spread between people.

Here’s how older adults can prepare and protect themselves from the novel coronavirus. This guidance comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Drs. Carla Perissinotto and Samir Sinha, both geriatricians.

Note: Recommendations for Covid-19 may change as officials learn more, so monitor your local health department and the CDC for updates.

Take precautions

  • Cancel non-essential doctor’s appointments
  • Schedule tele-health sessions for appointments you can’t miss
  • Designate an emergency contact
  • Wash your hands frequently (scrub for 20 seconds with soap and water)
  • Use hand sanitizer when soap isn’t available

Stock Up

  • Make sure you have enough groceries and household products to last you a “prolonged period of time” at home
  • Prescription medication may be difficult to get ahead of time, so consider mail ordering

Avoid Travel

  • Avoid nonessential plane/train/bus travel
  • Don’t go on a cruise —— cruise ship passengers are at a higher risk of infection

Lifestyle Changes

  • Stay at home as much as possible if you live in an area where there’s an outbreak
  • In public, avoid crowds and poorly ventilated buildings
  • Keep several feet of distance from people
  • Wash your hands with soap after going in public
  • If you need to isolate, keep in touch with family and friends

Nursing Homes

  • Most long-term care facilities have pandemic plans
  • Call facility staff for information on their plan
  • If you’re sick, do not visit a nursing home
  • If you’re visiting a nursing home in an outbreak area, get screened before entering
  • Figure out an alternative mode of communication if a nursing home bans visitors

If You Think You Are Sick

  • Call your doctor before going in for a test
  • Don’t use public transportation and stay at home as much as possible
  • Call a local coronavirus hotline +91-11-23978046 for more information
  • Visit https://www.mohfw.gov.in/ for up to date information
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