25 Mar Keeping Seniors Safe from COVID-19
Note: During the COVID-19 pandemic, we at Senior Living Consultants remain open and working to help you or a loved one find independent, Assisted Living, and Memory/Dementia Care Communities at NO COST to our clients. We are the local experts in locating the best senior living options for seniors and we are still here to help families–even during this uncertain time. Please don’t hesitate to email or call us anytime, seven days a week. Be safe out there.♥️
Charmaine and the staff at Senior Living Consultants
- Office Phone: (805) 454-5901
- Charmaine Cell: (805) 704-1532
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
On February 5 this blog gave an update on the 2019-2020 flu season. We also mentioned the new coronavirus (COVID-19). At that time, only 12 people had been confirmed with the illness in the United States and there were no deaths. However, only seven weeks later, the statistics have changed drastically. As of 2 p.m. today (Pacific time zone), there are 62,086 confirmed cases of the disease and 869 deaths in the U.S. And both these numbers are going up every day. Certainly an increase in testing people for coronavirus has led to the rise in the number of confirmed cases. Still, the disease is spreading rapidly.
Risk for Seniors
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, certain individuals are at high risk for severe illness from COVID 19. This includes:
- People 65 years and older;
- Seniors who live in nursing homes or long-term care facilities;
- Individuals with chronic lung disease, asthma, heart conditions, or are immunocompromised.
- People of any age who have certain underlying medical conditions such as diabetes, renal failure, or liver disease;
- Those of any age with severe obesity (BMI greater than 40.)
At this point, the Life Care Center (Kirkland, Washington) is the largest single source of coronavirus disease and death. Approximately 130 people from the skilled nursing and rehabilitation facility have been infected with COVID-19. The majority of these cases are in residents, followed by staff members and visitors. At least 37 deaths have been linked to the facility. A series of missteps led to this catastrophe which started in mid-February when some residents came down with a respiratory illness. As more people became sick, failure to implement infection control measures, staff continuing to work with symptoms, and the facility holding a Mardi Gras party on February 26 all led to a massive breakout of coronavirus by early March.
Keeping Older Adults Safe
Under direction from the CDC, senior living facilities across the nation (including those we work with) have implemented a variety of measures to help reduce the spread of coronavirus. This includes:
- Cancel all public or non-essential group activities and events;
- Limit or completely eliminate all visitors;
- Provide hand sanitizer in common areas;
- Clean and disinfect all common areas and shared facilities;
- Inform residents and employees with written communication regarding facts and information about COVID-19;
- Provide personal protective items (gloves, masks, and gowns) for employees;
- Limit staff interaction with residents;
- Daily staff screenings for signs and symptoms of infection;
- Limit number of people eating in dining rooms to 10 keeping them each 6′ apart.
In addition, particularly for older adults, it remains important to practice social distancing, shelter-at-home, and wash hands frequently. Furthermore, although it is difficult, do not visit other family members or friends in their homes or have them over to your house. While it is very hard to not see loved ones–especially grandchildren–younger people may not show symptoms of coronavirus yet still pass it on to you. Remember, we would all rather miss our family and friends for a few months than never see them again.