When it comes to COVID-19, the new coronavirus-caused disease, elderly persons are more susceptible to experiencing severe sickness. According to research, adults 60 and older, particularly those with prior medical illnesses, are more likely than other age groups to develop severe—even fatal—coronavirus infection. However, with the power of science, the situation has been mitigated. In fact, many people are complacent about it because of the vaccines that have been developed. People start going back to concerts or parties. But then, new variants arise, such as the delta and the most recent Omicron.
Viruses are continually evolving due to mutation, which can usher in a new variant of the virus. Some varieties exist and then vanish, whereas others linger. The very first known mutation is called the Delta variant. It infects more people and spreads more quickly than the initial SARS-CoV-2 variant. For this one, vaccines continue to be the most effective method to lower the risk of severe disease, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19.
On the other hand, Omicron is the most recent COVID-19 variation to rise to another level of concern. Much more research is needed to determine the transmissibility and severity for this one. Still, one thing is for sure: it has over 30 changes in the virus’s spike proteins, allowing it to enter and infect cells more severely.
Caregiving is not an easy job, even before the pandemic started. Eleanor Gaccetta, author of One Caregiver’s Journey can attest to that. But this pandemic has made it even worse. What will these new coronavirus variants do to our elder loved ones? How will it affect the caregiving industry? As we continue to monitor COVID-19’s progression, supporting older persons living in a safe and healthy manner should be the top priority. Adjustments and assimilation are two things on the list. Here are some of the ways that caregivers and the elderly can do to help contain the virus:
Be Open for Booster Shots
Many are still hesitant about getting booster shots because of health concerns, without considering that not getting one is more of such. When one acquires a vaccine to protect oneself against a virus, booster doses are a common component of the procedure. For the Covid19 booster shots, they are given to the body’s immune system to remind it of the virus it needs to protect against. In short, this strengthens or boosts the immune system even more.
It is reported that those individuals—the elderly and people with long-term illness—who are vulnerable to Covid19 tend to have lower immunity following the original shots. Know that this reason is not that the vaccines are not effective, but because the immune system of an individual needs an additional dose to reach immunity.
Follow Proper Preventive Measures
Preventive methods include physical or social isolation, quarantining, ventilation of interior areas, covering coughs and sneezes, hand washing, and keeping unwashed hands away from the face. If you have problems keeping the elderly at home because they are too social, then make sure to compromise by offering them an exciting project to work on alone or with family members.
Consider encouraging an older adult in your care who is feeling well to postpone elective treatments, yearly exams, and other non-essential health appointments. Ask their physicians’ offices whether they provide telemedicine, which allows doctors and patients to contact by video, email, or other means rather than face-to-face. This is the best idea, especially if the new variant is emerging in your area.
Make Sure to Keep Updated
The need to keep updated will help you know what measures you should take. Is the new variant present in your state? Are there changes in the processes to keep yourself and your loved ones protected? Staying informed will keep you safe because you will know what to do. You will feel more resilient and better when you are how you will handle the virus. Thus, make sure that you and the elderly loved one keep up with the news.
The emergence of the new variants is imminent. You may be concerned if you are caring for an elderly loved one at home. If possible, include your elderly family member in conversations about how you’ll deal with changes to routines. Talking things over as a family ahead of time may help minimize tension and make everyone feel more involved and prepared.