It’s time to take extra care of our parents and grandparents! If we are to go by global as well as national statistics, a worrying trend emerges. Senior citizens (60 years and above) are more susceptible to COVID-19 than other age groups. The fatality rate of this infection is higher for the elderly as well.
Why are the elderly so vulnerable to COVID-19?
It is because, as people grow older, their immunity becomes weaker and they are less capable of fighting off viruses. Besides, co-morbidities or co-occurring diseases are more prevalent amongst the elderly than other age groups. Illnesses like high blood pressure, chronic kidney disease, heart disorders, obstructive pulmonary disease or diabetes can make COVID-19 fatal.
Now that we know why the elderly population is vulnerable to COVID-19, let us assure you that there are ways in which senior citizens can be kept completely safe from this global pandemic.
Here are some do’s and don’ts for senior citizens –
- Stay at home and do not entertain guests or visitors at home. Any of them could have the COVID-19 infection.
- If meeting with people is essential, then you must maintain a distance of at least 1 metre (3.2 feet) from them.
- Wash your hands with soap and water frequently, especially after handling anything that came from outside (groceries, newspapers, etc.)
- Make sure that you are getting good quality nutrition through freshly cooked home meals.
- Optimum hydration is an absolute must. Plenty of clean water and fruit juices (without sugar) are recommended.
- Regular exercise can boost immunity. Simple activities like walking inside the house or climbing the stairs can be considered.
- Make sure that you are taking the prescribed doses of your medicines for pre-existing ailments.
- If any elective surgery (like a cataract removal procedure) is scheduled during the lockdown, it must be postponed. Going to a hospital can expose you to COVID-19.
- Doorbells, door handles, keys and other such frequently touched objects must be cleaned regularly.
- Stay in touch with your family members who are not living with you through phone calls and video conferencing.
- If you observe any symptoms of COVID-19, go to a hospital immediately.
- Do not sneeze or cough into your hands or with your mouth uncovered.
- Do not touch your face, mouth, nose or eyes with unwashed hands.
- Do not go near those who appear sick.
- Don’t self-medicate.
- Do not shake hands or hug.
- Do not go for your routine health check-up now.
- Do not go to markets, public parks where plenty of people gather.
- Do not step out of your house unless necessary.
The elderly people need our help now. It is time to step up and do our bit to take care of them. All of us have senior citizens in our families whom we love and cherish. That is why we need to rigorously follow the COVID-19 guidelines so that this pandemic does not challenge their health.
Stay home and practice social distancing to keep yourself safe!