Older Adults and COVID-19: How Does COVID-19 Affect Older Adults?

Older Adults and COVID-19: How Does COVID-19 Affect Older Adults?

Feb 01, 2021

Current statistics made available by the CDC show that eight out of ten COVID-19 deaths have been in adults 65 years or older. The older a person is, the greater the risk of severe illness. This means that people in their 70s are at more risk than people in their 60s and so on. They are more likely to need COVID-19 emergency care at the Harker Heights Emergency Room. You should also know that Express ER COVID testing offers coronavirus testing near you. Why does COVID-19 affect older adults the way it does?

Older adults are more likely to have pre-existing medical conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, or respiratory illnesses. These are conditions that we know can aggravate theCOVID-19 infection even in younger people. Older adults also tend to have weak immune systems, making it more difficult to fight off the infection. The effect is more pronounced in nursing homes where the risk of being affected by COVID-19 is greatest. The first problem encountered in nursing homes is that more than half of the senior ones have Alzheimer’s or some other form of dementia. This makes containment measures difficult. Many can not understand the gravity of the situation or how the preventive measures help them.

COVID-19 has also proven to be detrimental to the mental health of older adults. This is also true for many young people who had their lives disrupted by the pandemic. Many older adults are at a high risk of experiencing loneliness and COVID-19 increases this risk greatly. It is even worse with reports that abuse of these elderly ones has increased with the pandemic wave. This is because older adults became even more dependent on their caregivers increasing the rate of elder abuse. Older adults can get tested for COVID-19 at the Harker Heights emergency room. This is an emergency room near you. How can older adults protect themselves?

How To Protect Yourself From The COVID-19 virus

Anyone who is at increased risk of severe illness from the COVID-19 virus needs to take preventive measures more seriously. The course of the illness is unpredictable and itis always easier to prevent than manage, especially in older adults. Always wear a mask when you step out and have to interact with others. Wash your hands always. Always take your hand sanitizer along for situations where you won’t have access to soap and water. Avoid touching your face and clean high-touch surfaces regularly.

How About Visiting Friends And Family?

The more people we interact with, the higher our chances of contracting the virus. The best option is to limit such interactions. However, if you must visit, take care to consider the level of risk. How many people will be present? Will it be outdoors or indoors? Can you keep a distance from others? How many people will be wearing a mask? If these criteria are largely unfulfilled, it is best to keep away from such gatherings.

Shopping trips should be planned when these places are less crowded- early mornings and late evenings. Make use of the senior hours if available. Never go out without a facemask and your hand sanitizer. Do not forget to maintain social distancing. Online services are better. Make use of them.
Delay or cancel a visit if your visitors have symptoms of COVID-19 or have had contact with someone who tested positive in the last 2 weeks. If infection rates are high in a particular area, avoid the area.

Seeking Care

If you are experiencing any symptoms, reach out to your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Caregivers should watch for emergency signs. These include trouble breathing, chest pain, confusion, dizziness, and bluish lips or face. Seek COVID-19 emergency care at an emergency room near you.

Please note that symptoms in elderly ones may not be like what is seen in others. Fever temperatures can be lesser in older adults. Their normal body temperature tends to be lower than in younger adults too. A single reading higher than 100°F (37.8°C), multiple readings above 99°F (37.2°C), or a rise in temperature greater than 2°F (1.1°C) can be a sign of infection in people older than 65 years.

Older adults need all the support they can get from caregivers. This is crucial to their survival through the pandemic.

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