Now that the Coronavirus (Covid-19) has been declared a global pandemic and state of emergency in most Canadian provinces, protecting the health of the elderly and the immune-compromised has become a crucial matter. This is because people over 60 and especially over 80 are particularly vulnerable to the severe infection caused by this novel corona virus. For some the weakening of the immune system is simply due to age and for others it is caused by a chronic condition such as asthma, COPD, Diabetes 2, liver disease, ALS or any condition that lowers immunity. Here are some steps to help reduce an older person’s risk of contracting Covid-19.

Start With The Basics

Older or immune-compromised people should follow the same protocols set forth by the C.D.C and W.H.O as set out for the general population including –

  • Washing your hands frequently with warm water and soap for 20 seconds (the time it takes to sing Happy Birthday twice)
  • Clean your hands with alcohol-based hand gel with at least 80% alcohol content
  • Avoid handshakes and hugs
  • Stay away from gatherings of more than 20 people
  • Clean and disinfect objects that are touched frequently
  • Avoid public transportation.
  • Social distancing

Social distancing, in particular is absolutely crucial for older individuals at risk who are in danger of catching the virus from a simple hug or handshake.

Deal With Medical Matters

Yet another important suggestion is to avoid all nonessential doctor’s appointments, including wellness visits. If you have a social worker, public nurse or caregiver that you work with on a regular basis, try to deal with him or her online, by video chat or by phone.

It is also important to make sure that you have two or three months worth of any prescription medicines available at all times.

Beware of Social Isolation

Experts advise social distancing in order to prevent the spread of the virus, but too much isolation and loneliness is already an issue in the older population. In a situation where social distancing is required tried to engage your senior friend or relative digitally online. Facebook, Skype, Google, Apple and Samsung formats all have formats that allow you to speak online by chat or video with a loved one. If your relative or friend is in a nursing room that has now banned visitors in the name of curbing the virus, inquire as to what the home’s policy is with regards to contagion prevention.

If your vulnerable person has a home health aide or regular maid or caregiver, it is important to make sure that they are practicing proper hygiene and that they are washing their hands frequently or rubbing their hands with a hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol. Be aware as well, that at least in Ontario caregivers, doctors, nurses and front line workers are not required to be tested for the Corona virus, simply because of an unavailability of testing kits.

In the meantime, protect yourself from being contagious by maintaining a distance of at least six feet between you and others. Avoid public transportation, limit nonessential travel, work from home and skip gatherings. This strategy saved thousands of lives both during the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918 and in Mexico City during the 2009 flu pandemic.

Are you feeling a bit burnt out, stressed out or in need of natural health advice for best practices during the corona virus outbreak? Our integrated total health team at the Pinewood Natural Healthcare Centre website that has a list of full services and products at www.pinewoodhealth.ca that can help you. Call our Toronto Office at  (416)-656- 8100.  We also have an office in Pickering, Ontario at (905)-427-0057. You can also email us at info@pinewoodhealth.ca and we would be happy to answer any question that you have about stress relief, cognitive therapy and relaxing therapies such as iv vitamin drip therapy, mesotherapy and dietary advice.

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