How to take care of the elderly to avoid COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic affects people around the world especially the elderly as they are not healthy hosts with weaker immunity than younger people. Without proper care, there is more probability for the elderly to be infected by COVID-19 with a higher death rate. So, other family members need to understand and prepare to ensure the elderly have a sound mind and body. 

The important key to take care of and prevent the COVID-19 from the elderly are preventing any infectious exposure and being in a safe place. It is worth noting that it is possible that the infectious might not have any symptoms but can still transmit the virus. So, if some of the family members are possibly infected by the virus, they should be separated from the elderly.

Keys to prevent the elderly from COVID-19

  • Having a balanced five food groups

The elderly’s diet should contain enough of 5 food groups with a variety of foods to ensure sufficient nutrients. The meal should consist of high-protein foods such as meat, egg, milk, and dried bean to repair damaged tissue and promote immunity. Fruits and vegetables contain a lot of fiber which helps in the excretion process. Avoiding sweets and salty foods is a must.

  • ·        Exercising

The elderly who still can walk with normal joints and bones can regularly exercise such as walking, and arm-swing walking. However, for the one with bones or joints degeneration shall do only light exercise; for example, rotating shoulders, rotating body, and leg lifting. Exercise not only helps in balancing but also slowing the body degeneration as well as promoting immunity.

  • Having enough rest

Sleeping is very important for the elderly as it helps repair damaged body parts as well as promoting immunity. One should not go to bed later than 9 pm to ensure sufficient resting as the elderly often have a hard time sleeping. Avoid taking a nap during the day or limiting the duration of the nap is important. Alcohol drinks have to be dismissed and stop drinking water 4-5 hours prior to sleeping to ensure no interruption for using toilets during sleeping. Exercising also helps in better and tighter sleeping. 

  • ·Carrying hand sanitizers and often washing hands

The elderly tend to have a hard time moving and often forget about things. The carer needs to keep the hand sanitizer close and remind the elderly to wash their hands often before meals or after touching any surface.

  • ·Separating meals from other family members

It is recommended to separate the meal of the elderly from other family members to avoid infection.

  • ·Avoid sharing belongings with others

Especially personal belongings including plate, bowl, spoon and fork, toothpaste, soap, and towel.

  • ·Avoid going out

During the pandemic, avoid going out or meeting with people. If necessary, wearing a face mask and rubber gloves can help reduce the risk of infection. Showering immediately after arriving home. 

  • Avoid expressing affection   

Normally, the elderly is the center of the family. When coming home, other family members tend to express their affection by kissing or hugging. During this time, avoiding such expressions are essential to maintain social distancing. Other members should shower before getting close to the elderly.

  • ·Finding some relaxing activities

Most of the elderly often get together with others for talking and participating in several activities when other family members are not around. However, in this pandemic era, they cannot go out and might result in stress. To relieve such stress, it is recommended that the elderly find something they can do, for instance, singing karaoke, baking, cooking, crafting, making face masks, and making face shields that can be used within the family or donating to hospitals. These activities can help ease loneliness and are beneficial to others.

Apart from taking care of diets and hygiene for the elderly during COVID-19 pandemic time, taking care of their mind with love by other members are also important and should not be neglected.  By greeting, talking, and asking if they are doing well or telling them some good story is something to keep them happy. Do not forget to maintain social distancing from the elderly to keep them safe and sound.