The Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19 has now been declared a Global Pandemic by the World Health Organization. What started in Wuhan, China has spread rapidly across the globe. This virus is even more contagious and deadlier than the common flu. Currently, there is no vaccine and seniors are most susceptible to succumb to this new deadly virus. Here are some practical ways for seniors to protect and prepare themselves for the oncoming crisis.
1. Wash Your Hands
An average person touches their faces around 3,000 times a day. Make it a habit to wash your hands with soap and often, especially before preparing and eating food. If not possible, use hand sanitizers in a pinch with at least 70% isopropyl alcohol. Make a conscious effort to avoid touching your eyes, nose and face.
2. Stock Up on Medication
It’s important for seniors to get their prescriptions filled immediately and ask for additional refills when possible. Supply chains will definitely be disrupted in this crisis as it progresses. Additionally, stock up on cold and flu medication. There is is no cure so the only way to treat this virus at home is through over the counter medication that eases the symptoms such as pain, fevers, and coughs. Tylenol cold and flu will do just fine. Cough syrups and cough drops will also help.
3. Avoid People in Confined Spaces
You should cancel or postpone social gatherings and events. Do NOT go on a cruise or travel unnecessarily. Clusters of infections have been reported on cruise ships around the world. Airplanes and buses are full of people in a confined enclosed space. Sporting events and concerts are also out of the question. Avoid and politely refuse handshakes, hugs and kisses because a person that is not showing symptoms could pass the virus onto you unknowingly. Do not go outside if you don’t have to. Isolation is the most effective way to avoid catching the Coronavirus. If you live in a retirement or nursing home, make sure your staff have a plan to screen everyone coming into your community and for increased hygiene procedures. Be adamant that they follow strict protocols. Retirement and nursing homes have been severely affected by this virus due to the age of the community.
4. Stock Up on Hygiene Essentials
Buy hand sanitizers, face masks, disinfectant wipes and sprays where available. This could be difficult as people have been hoarding them but many places will still have rubbing (isopropyl) alcohol available. Buy the ones that are at least 70%. You could put it in a spray bottle to use as a hand sanitizer and a surface disinfectant. Face masks are also in short supplies but you could use scarfs, bandannas or any other face coverings as an alternative when in a crowded area. It’s better than no protection. Also stock up on soap, toothpaste, shampoos, toilet paper and any other products you use regularly.
5. Stock Up on Non Perishable Food & Water
Get your pantry filled with such things as canned meat, dried beans, rice, cereals and other non perishable food items. Avoid stocking food that needs refrigeration as the power could go down in a state of emergency. Buy the items that you will usually eat so that when things blow over, you will still consume them. If you remember, Spam has sustained many soldiers in past wars and it will definitely be invaluable. Water is also important because if things get bad, you will be without municipal water. Stock up on bottled water.
6. Check in with Friends and Relatives.
Make sure to keep in touch with friends and family throughout this crisis. It’s important to have someone to check in on you once in awhile to see how you are doing. This could be done over the phone or video calls to avoid physical contact. They could help you with things such as supplies, medications and whatnot. If you become ill, they could help you get the proper assistance if you are not able to get it yourself.
7. Keep Informed
Watch the news at least daily to keep up with what is going on in your local area. You could watch local cable tv or even search YouTube for your local area to keep up to date. Information during a crisis could save your life.
8. Watch this Video
Here’s a must watch video to supplement the above information by Dr. John Campbell.
Seniors are especially vulnerable to the Coronavirus with the highest mortality rate among all age groups. Don’t panic! Instead, prepare and protect yourself and the people around you. If you have friends or family who are over 50, please pass this message on. Do you have anymore tips to add to this list specifically for seniors? Please let us know in the comment section below.