Older adults, especially those aged 60 and older, are particularly vulnerable to coronavirus, also known as COVID-19. Adults with pre-existing medical conditions, especially lung disease, cancer, diabetes, or heart disease, are also more likely to have a serious infection compared to other groups.
If you are caring for a senior or someone with cancer or another medical condition, you might be worried right now and not sure exactly what to do to keep yourself and the person you’re taking care of healthy and safe.
Keep yourself and your loved one healthy
As a caregiver, your number one priority should be keeping yourself healthy and safe. You can’t take care of your loved one if you have the coronavirus yourself. Here are the basic precautions you can take during this time:
• Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds frequently throughout the day, but especially before or after providing care to your loved one, prepping or cooking food, and using the bathroom.
• Avoid large crowds and stay home as often as possible.
• No matter where you are, if you cough or sneeze, make sure to either use a tissue or the bend of your elbow, then wash your hands and elbow as soon as possible.
• Keep your hands away from your face as much as possible.
• Clean surfaces in your home that are frequently touched as often as possible, especially any equipment used by your loved one, including handrails, walkers, and canes.
• Practice safe social distancing without social isolation. Use technology to help older adults feel connected and involved during the pandemic. Show your loved ones how to video chat and encourage family and friends who live outside your household to send cards or call to lift your loved one’s spirits during this time.
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