A message from our friend John Benchoff at Assisting Hands (of Wilmington)
Information about COVID-19 circulating the Internet with a large variety of sources, some of which are accurate, and some aren’t. The situation across the country continues to change, so keep checking back to the CDC’s website for updated information regarding the virus, prevention, and any restrictions that are being put in place to ensure citizens’ safety.
It is important to remember that older adults and individuals with chronic medical conditions that weaken the immune system are at a higher risk of contracting a serious version of the Coronavirus and should take additional precautions.
If you are among the group of adults at higher risk, the CDC recommends taking the following steps to help prevent illness:
- Be mindful of your medications.
- Get extra medications that you might need or consider mail-order medications.
- Stock up on over-the-counter medications, first aid supplies, and other medical supplies (such as tissues).
- Take everyday precautions to keep space between yourself and others.
- Avoid touching high-touch surfaces, and if you must touch them (elevator buttons, door handles, etc.) cover your hand with your sleeve or a glove.
- Avoid touching your face.
- Clean and disinfect your home to remove germs (don’t forget all frequently touched surfaces like handles, remotes, computers, etc.).
- Keep away from others who are sick when going out in public, and wash your hands frequently.
- Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water; dry with a clean, fresh rag or paper towels.
- Avoid crowds as much as possible.
- Avoid cruise travel and any non-essential air travel
- Stay home as much as possible during a COVID-19 outbreak in your community to further reduce your risk of being exposed to the virus.
- Consider grocery delivery or asking your friends or family for help getting necessary items instead of going to the store.
Stay on Top of Any Signs & Symptoms
By staying on top of how you’re feeling, you can potentially prevent the virus from getting to a dangerous point by receiving medical help early.
The CDC’s list of signs and symptoms are:
- Shortness of breath
If you have these symptoms, contact your doctor by phone immediately.
If you develop any of these emergency warning signs, access medical care immediately:
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Persistent pain or pressure in your chest
- New confusion or inability to arouse
- Bluish lips or face
If you develop any of the above symptoms or other new or concerning symptoms, contact your medical provider right away.
What to Do if You Get Sick
- Have a plan.
- Stay home and call your doctor and let them know about your symptoms. Tell them that you have or may have COVID-19. This will help them take care of you and keep other people from getting infected or exposed.
- If you are not sick enough to be hospitalized, you will be able to recover at home.
- Know when to get emergency help.
- Get medical attention immediately if you have any of the emergency signs and symptoms listed above.
How Others Can Support Older Adults and Those at High-Risk
The guidelines above are important for all individuals in regards to COVID-19, but there are additional steps that individuals with a lower risk of danger from the virus can take to help with those at higher risk.
- Know what medications your loved one is taking and see if you can help them have extra on hand.
- Monitor food and other medical supplies (oxygen, incontinence, dialysis, wound care) needed and create a backup plan.
- Stock up on non-perishable food items to have on hand in your home to minimize trips to stores.
- If you care for a loved one living in a care facility, monitor the situation, ask about the health of the other residents frequently, and know the protocol if there is an outbreak.
- Take extra precautions when visiting an individual at a higher risk of serious disease from infection, and if you are sick, stay home.
The CDC is consistently updating information as it comes in, and steps are being taken to prevent the spread of the disease. It is up to us as individuals to further protect ourselves and our loved ones from being infected by following the above guidelines.
Assisting Hands Home Care is following all CDC guidelines surrounding proper sanitization of all equipment, surfaces, and hands, and staff members will not report to work if they are sick or have been exposed to someone at-risk of infection. If you find that you are having difficulty caring for your loved ones who are at higher risk of a serious infection or you are in need of in-home care services to help your loved one avoid going out, visit www.assistinghands.com to find a location near you.
Written by John Benchoff at Assisting Hands