The rise of the coronavirus has been extremely frightening for many people around the world. However, for seniors, it has been extremely difficult for them to navigate everyday life due to the facts that they are at a higher risk of catching it and becoming extremely ill. All over the world, seniors have been advised to shield themselves by not leaving their homes and even obtaining groceries from family members or using online shopping.
Why Seniors Are At A Higher Risk
While all ages can catch the coronavirus, seniors are at a higher risk due to physiological conditions that come with aging. Seniors are also more likely to have underlying medical conditions which make the body weaker, meaning they are less able to fight off the virus. Our immune system weakens as we age. This makes us more vulnerable to infections as we get older. Increased damage can be done by challenges to our body. There is also a greater probability of a phenomenon called a cytokine storm when the immune system gears up in elderly people. This is where the immune system overreacts in order to fight an infection and produces too many chemicals. A serious inflammatory reaction can lead to organ failure, which has the potential to cause significant damage to the body or unfortunately kill you.
The Covid Vaccine
There have now been vaccines approved all around the world, and mass inoculations are happening as fast as possible. Essential workers such as front line healthcare workers and the elderly are first on the list to be offered the vaccine in many areas, due to the high risk nature of them contracting the virus. Taking the vaccine means that you are protected from catching it. However, there’s still a chance that you could carry the virus, meaning there’s a chance you could spread it to someone else.
Prevention is key in many areas, and there are a multitude of ways in which seniors can keep themselves safe when venturing out into the world:
- Wear a face mask at all times
- Regularly sanitize your hands, especially after touching supermarket carts and items other people may have touched
- Wiping down goods when arriving home, such as packaged groceries to eliminate germs
- Regularly disinfect the door handles of your car and home
- Avoid touching your face without washing your hands first
- Stay at least 6 feet away from other people
- Avoid shaking hands or touching other people
- Wash your hands when arriving home for at least 20 seconds
Consider An End Of Life Doula
Unfortunately, those over 80, approximately 15% of those infected will die. Preparing for the worst can be a very difficult time, especially if loved ones can’t be around for comfort. Hiring an end of life doula can allow patients to pass more peacefully by adding moral support to the patients and their loved ones.