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No one is invincible when it comes to COVID-19, but this infection is relatively riskier for certain groups of people – pregnant women, people with pre-existing medical conditions, and people who are 60 years of age & above. The Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment (MSJE) has issued an COVID-19 advisory of ‘Do’s and Don’ts’ for senior citizens and their caregivers. This COVID-19 Advisory for senior citizens is crucial to keep them safe and healthy during the Coronavirus outbreak.
COVID-19 Advisory – Who is it for?
This advisory has been issued for those who are 60 years of age or older, especially the ones with any of these medical conditions; and their care-givers –
- Chronic Neurological condition, like Stroke or Parkinson’s Disease
- Chronic Kidney Disease
- Chronic Liver Disease, like Viral Hepatitis or Alcoholic
- Chronic Heart Disease, like Heart Failure
- Chronic & Long-term Respiratory Disease, like COPD, Asthma, Interstitial Lung Disease, Post Tuberculosis Sequelae, or Bronchiectasis.
People with any of these pre-existing medical issues are the most at risk from COVID-19, and need to be taken extra care of, during this pandemic.
Ministry Advisory – DO’S & DON’TS for Senior Citizens
Do – Stay indoors at all times, and avoid having any visitors at your home.
Don’t – Come in close physical contact with a person showcasing symptoms of the Coronavirus infection, like coughing, runny nose, fever, or breathing difficulty.
Do – If you must remain in physical proximity to someone, maintain a distance of at least 1 meter.
Don’t – Shake hands with or hug your friends who are not living in your household or showcasing symptoms of the infection.
Do – Avoid all kinds of gatherings, big or small. If you live alone, seek help from neighbours who are healthy to get your essentials (groceries & medicines) for your home.
Don’t – Go into crowded places like markets, stores, parks, or religious places.
Do – Stay active and keep moving around in the house for your day-to-day chores. Also, take some time out for light exercise or yoga.
Don’t – Cut down on physical activities just because you cannot go out for a walk.
Do – Practice good hygiene by washing hands frequently, using soap & water for a minimum of 20 seconds. This must be done especially before having meals and after using the bathroom.
Clean the surfaces & objects that you touch frequently, like your spectacles. Moreover, cough or sneeze into a disposable tissue (which is disposed off immediately) or a handkerchief (which is washed after use).
Don’t – Cough or sneeze into your bare hands, and touch your face, eyes or nose with it.
Do – Eat home-cooked, fresh, and healthy food. Drink enough water and maintain a regular intake of fresh juices for stronger immunity. Also, take your daily prescribed dose of medication regularly.
Don’t – Self-medicate.
Do – Keep track of your health. If you face any medical issue or showcase any of the warning signs of COVID-19, consult a doctor immediately and follow the prescribed treatment.
Book a tele or video consultation with your doctor as far as possible, instead of leaving your house and visiting the hospital.
Don’t – Visit a hospital or any other healthcare facility for regular health checkup or follow up.
Do – Stay connected with your friends and family through voice & video calls. If required, take help from your family members for the same.
Don’t – Invite and socialise with your friends and relatives at your home.
Those with pre-existing Kidney and Heart Diseases must ensure intake of enough water and keep themselves hydrated during the summer season.
Ministry Advisory – DO’S & DON’TS for Care-Givers of Dependent Senior Citizens
Do – Cover your mouth & nose properly with a tissue/cloth/mask when attending to a senior citizen.
Don’t – Go near senior citizens if you are showcasing any of the symptoms like cough, fever, runny nose, or shortness of breath.
Do – Practice good hygiene and wash your hands with soap and water before helping the older person.
Don’t – Make physical contact with them without washing your hands.
Do – Clean the surfaces and things that are frequently used, like the walking stick, walker, bedpan, wheel-chair, etc
Don’t – Touch the surfaces used by them frequently, without washing your hands
Do – Help them wash their hands
Don’t – Keep them bed-bound and with zero physical movement
Do – Ensure they eat healthy food and drink enough water, especially now during the summer season
Keep track of their health. In case they begin to experience symptoms like fever (with/without body ache), cough, shortness of breath, unusual drop in appetite, or inability to eat, contact the helpline number.
Ministry Advisory – DO’S & DON’TS ON MENTAL WELLNESS for Senior Citizens
Do – Talk to family members at home, and talk to your neighbours, without compromising on social distancing protocols.
Don’t – Confine yourself in one room.
Do – Avoid the use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs to combat loneliness. Create a peaceful environment around yourself. Rekindle your old hobbies like music, reading, gardening, etc.
Don’t – Isolate yourself.
Do – Access and believe only the information that comes from credible sources.
Don’t – Believe sensational news or social media posts, or share any information that is unverified and not coming from credible sources.
Do – If you have an existing mental illness, call 08046110007
If you are feeling a change in your mental health, like feeling unusually drowsy, speaking inappropriately, or showcasing a lack of response, unable to recognise known people, call the helpline number.
Also, check – Mental Health During Coronavirus & Government Initiative
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