Tips For Protecting Seniors During COVID-19 Outbreak
As COVID-19 (Coronavirus ) cases continue to emerge, it is important that you take steps to protect yourselves and others. The most vulnerable to the Coronavirus is our senior population. So, in an effort to continue serving the Sevier County, TN seniors, and seniors everywhere, here are some steps to take to protect yourselves and others.
Protecting our Seniors in Long-Term Care Facilities and At Home
Health professionals are working tirelessly to understand this new disease. And as new developments come from research, health professionals provide information to protect individuals. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention has also leveraged new developments to protect our most vulnerable population. As a result, the CDC has provided several guidelines to protect seniors in long-term care facilities and at home.
Seniors in Long-term Care Facilities
As the United States experiences a community spread of Coronavirus, long-term care facilities, for seniors, are taking action to protect their residents. Following the guidance of the CDC, staff members at long-term care facilities are now following a new preparedness protocol. As a result, nursing homes and other long-term care facilities are required to develop a comprehensive Coronavirus response plan, including plans for:
- Rapid identification and management of ill residents
- Considerations for visitors and consultant staff
- Supplies and resources
- Sick leave policies and other occupational health considerations
- Education and training
- Surge capacity for staffing, equipment and supplies, and postmortem care
In addition, the CDC has provided a checklist for these facilities to assess their current preparedness plan.
Furthermore, the CDC offers additional interim prevention and control for patients with suspected or confirmed Coronavirus in Nursing Homes that include:
- Restrict all visitation except for certain compassionate care situations, such as end of life situations
- Restrict all volunteers and non-essential healthcare personnel (HCP), including non-essential healthcare personnel (e.g., barbers)
- Cancel all group activities and communal dining
- Implement active screening of residents and HCP for fever and respiratory symptoms
Seniors at Home
With a community spread taking place in the United States, seniors and older adults at home should use caution for potential Coronavirus infection. As health professionals learn more about the virus every day, here are tips for protecting yourselves at home:
- Stay home if possible.
- Wash your hands often.
- Avoid close contact (6 feet, which is about two arm lengths) with people who are sick.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.
- Avoid all cruise travel and non-essential air travel.
- Call your healthcare professional if you have concerns about COVID-19 and you have an underlying condition or if you are sick.
In addition to protecting yourselves and others during this epidemic, it’s important to manage stress and anxiety. These trying times may also leave individuals vulnerable to the virus.
During this epidemic, education is critical. As information continues to emerge, the CDC provides updates. Please continue to share information and protect yourselves and others.