With a population of approximately 52 million people over the age of 65 in the United States, it’s only natural that so many are concerned about novel coronavirus (COVID-19). As more people in our communities test positive for COVID-19, older adults are the ones who are being hit hardest by this outbreak. Since those aged 65 or older are more likely to suffer from underlying health conditions and have bodies that are under more significant physical stress than those who are younger, they are less able to fight off infections. Now is the time for seniors to take precautions against coronavirus, as there is currently no vaccine against it. So, what are some actionable steps you can take to help protect yourself and others against infection?
The CDC recommends the following items to prevent illness from COVID-19:
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water and for at least 20 seconds each time. If soap and water are unavailable, it is OK to use hand sanitizer. Try not to touch your eyes, mouth, or nose if your hands are unwashed.
- Avoid being around those who are sick. If people in your community have already been diagnosed with coronavirus, you should try and maintain a distance of three feet when around others.
- If you are sick, stay home, unless you are seeking medical care.
- When coughing or sneezing, do so into a tissue. Or use the inside of your elbow. Immediately throw used tissues into the trash. Make sure to wash your hands after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose.
- If you are sick and must be around other people, wear a face mask. If you are unable to wear a face mask, use a tissue when you cough or sneeze. If you are not sick, it is unnecessary to wear a face mask unless you are a caregiver for someone who is ill.
- Clean and disinfect frequently used surfaces daily.
- Strengthen your immune system by taking vitamins A, B, D, and lots of vitamin C. Zinc is also a mineral that helps strengthen the immune system. Avoid excessive amounts of sugary foods and simple carbohydrates as they can weaken the immune system.
- AVOID LARGE CROWDS AND CONDUCT BUSINESS BY PHONE WHENEVER POSSIBLE!! ALMOST ANYTHING YOU NEED US TO DO FOR YOU CAN BE TAKEN CARE OF OVER THE PHONE! CALL 662-844-3300 FOR IMMEDIATE ASSISTANCE.
Some extra precautions that health professionals recommend senior citizens take to avoid becoming infected with COVID-19 include:
- If you live in a long-term care facility with a COVID-19 infection, avoid common areas. Take your meals in your room, and for the time being, try to avoid spending time outside of your room.
- Hold off on visiting your friends and relatives that live in a long-term care facility.
- Avoid all non-essential cruise and air travel.
- Avoid handshaking.
- Avoid crowds.
- Speak with your doctor about obtaining extra medications or necessary medical supplies in case there is an outbreak in your community, and you are unable to leave your home.
- Stock up on non-perishable food items and toiletries, in the event you are unable to leave your home for some time.
Even with all these preventative measures in place, it is still possible to become infected. What should you do if you have the symptoms of coronavirus (fever, cough, and shortness of breath)? Call your healthcare provider before going in. If your doctor agrees that you need to come in and be tested, they will reach out to your local health department or CDC to get you tested.
On March 6th, Medicare announced that Medicare Part B covers the COVID-19 test. If you receive the test after April 1st, 2020, you will likely pay nothing for it.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call us at (662) 844-3300. If you must leave a message, please do so and we will call you back as soon as possible.