As shown in research and data, elderly are vulnerable to the virus. The rate of deaths is higher among elderly as compared to other age groups. This is partly due to them having a weaker immune system which increases the chances of them contracting the virus. Another reason is due to the pre-existing medical conditions that they have which will make it even harder for the body to fight against the virus if they are infected. This explains why some elderly COVID-19 patients have more risk of developing serious health complications due to multiple medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and lung disease.
How can you help them?
- Social distancing
Do not receive visitors, especially kids (who can be asymptomatic carriers), at home unless absolutely necessary. As much as possible, get them to stay home or avoid places with large crowds such as the hawker centres. In these areas, chances of contracting the disease through droplet transmission and being in close contact with infected people is high.
Educate the elderly on ways the virus can be transmitted. They would be able to understand the gravity of the situation and will be willing to abide by the new rules during this circuit breaker period.
- Maintain personal hygiene
Remind them to frequently wash their hands with soap. If they are going out, they should be bringing hand sanitiser along to clean their hands on the go. It is even more critical for them to not touch their faces before washing their hands, especially if they are outside and will be in contact with surfaces used by many people. Fomites or inanimate objects when contaminated with the virus, can transmit and spread the disease to people.
- Combating social isolation
- Staying physically active by exercising. Resistance bands are suitable for seniors to do exercises at home. They can do strength training and make use of their muscles so it would not become weak! The exercise pedaler is also good to be used at home, while engaging in another activity such as watching TV shows. It's portable too so you can move it around the house or fold it for storage.
- Staying mentally active by picking up new skills such as playing music instruments, learning IT skills, painting and doing jigsaw puzzles. These activities can keep them occupied and entertained during this circuit breaker period.