These days, the coronavirus is making headline news. It’s certainly an unfortunate situation, to say the least, given that the infectious disease has already impacted north of 90,000 people across the world. Sadly, more than 3,000 people have perished due to complications with the illness, also known as COVID-19. And, as you can imagine, our elderly population has the greatest risk of being impacted.
It’s very important not to panic, but instead to be informed about how the Coronavirus may impact you. There have only been 27 reported cases of COVID-19 in Canada, but they have been exclusive to Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec. So far, there have been no reported cases of Coronavirus in Alberta and, quite obviously, we surely join you in hoping it stays that way. Nevertheless, it’s wise to take steps to promote optimum health.
Although the Coronavirus is not the flu, it tends to produce flu-like symptoms.
As explained by Dr. Lisa Lockerd Maragakis of the Johns Hopskins University in Baltimore, Maryland, COVID-19 symptoms include fever, cough, body aches, fatigue and sometimes vomiting and diarrhea. The illness can be spread from person to person through droplets in the air from an infected person coughing, sneezing or even talking.
Preventing the spread of the Coronavirus can be accomplished by following a few common sense rules that you would also follow to prevent the flu from spreading. They include washing your hands with soap and warm water for a minimum of 20 seconds. Do this especially before and after you eat as well as after you use the bathroom, blow your nose, cough or sneeze. Be sure to cough or sneeze in a tissue and throw it away immediately.
Dr. Maragakis also notes that the Coronavirus can result in pneumonia.
According to Sarah Stevenson on APlaceForMom.com, pneumonia impacts more than 60 percent of seniors over the age of 65. Symptoms to watch for include high fever, chills, trouble breathing, tiredness, weakness, persistent cough and chest or abdomen pain. She also notes that older adults can experience non-respiratory pneumonia symptoms. They include confusion, delirium or dizziness.
“Stay alert to any changes in your parent’s or loved one’s health if they have a preexisting condition that can mask the symptoms of pneumonia,” advises Stevenson, “Make sure that if they have been prescribed antibiotics, they take them as directed and don’t miss a dose.”
There are numerous ways to protect against pneumonia.
They include maintaining excellent personal hygiene. In addition to regular hand washing, proper bathing is necessary. As well, “good dental hygiene in older adults is also a must for fighting pneumonia,” says Stevenson, “Dental or oral infections can not only cause respiratory infections, but pneumonia as well. Remind loved ones to brush their teeth every day and follow a good nightly cleaning routine if they have dentures.”
At Advantage Home Health Solutions, we take the health of seniors very seriously. Our current global situation suggests that we significantly increase our efforts to protect the health of people of all ages. Our team, however, remains dedicated to offering solutions that promote optimum health, safety and independence amongst the elderly and those with mobility issues.