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The Elderly Community – Staying Safe During COVID-19

Having just received the news from the Spanish government about easing the lock down in 4 phases, we thought we would go over a guide for our most vulnerable – the elderly. If you are high risk or if you are someone taking care of an elderly person, this guide will give you tips and information on how to stay safe.

Signs & Symptoms

There are several signs and symptoms you need to watch out for. When it comes to the elderly, our most vulnerable demographic, identifying symptoms early is the key to recovery.

Flu type symptoms, which includes COVID-19, include:

  • An aching body
  • Tiredness or exhaustion
  • A dry cough
  • A sore throat
  • Headaches

These are just a few; we are finding out more everyday about the symptoms associated with COVID-19. At the bottom of this article we leave you some important links to review medical data and the right places to get advice.

Even if you have the regular flu, you must take care of yourself and stay home to recover.

Colds and coughs for example might be a different flu all together, but there is no way, at least yet, to discover the type of illness. Because COVID-19 is so highly contagious and has mutated several times, all the NHS can do is ask that you stay inside even if you display one of the symptoms.

Check out this guide on how to stay safe with common flu symptoms if you are high risk – it also includes how to care for the elderly at this point in time with the pandemic.

Coughs, Colds and the Elderly

Why are the elderly more vulnerable?

Firstly, it is important to note that the elderly are among the most likely groups of people to get sick. This can be the case for number of reasons, one being that as we get older, our immune systems become weaker. This makes it much easier for bacteria and viruses to take hold and make us unwell.

However, studies have suggested that perhaps we are more vulnerable to infection as we get older due to overreactive immune systems. Dr Daniel Goldstein of the Yale School of Medicine claimed that “it is possible that heightened immune responses – rather than defective immunity – attack the body and lead to disease in these individuals”.

Either way, it is evident that different immune functions in the elderly result in higher risks of infection from diseases like the common cold and influenza (flu).

Source: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/news/6597860/Elderly-people-succumb-to-viruses-because-their-immune-systems-work-too-hard.html

Prevention is the best measure

The most proactive way to avoiding the flu, is taking steps to prevent them. Looking after your health and well being will help lower the chances of you and those around you catching the flu or even cold.

These include:

getting a flu vaccine – particularly important for seniors, as getting a flu vaccine can reduce the risk of getting the flu and reduces the severity of complications of the virus.

Maintaining good hygiene – regularly washing your hands is a great way of getting rid of germs, especially after interacting with young children.

Avoiding crowds – placing yourself in big crowds of people can increase the chance of catching a cold or the flu from somebody who is unwell, particularly in poorly ventilated areas.

Strengthening the immune system – maintaining a healthy diet will help strengthen the immune system and fight infections.

For the elderly, vitamin supplements can also assist in keeping a healthy diet.

More resources:

https://www.ageuk.org.uk/

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/flu/

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