Covid 19 and Older Adults: What you need to know according to Dr. Israel Figa

This article looks into everything important that you need to know about the Covid 19 if you are an old adult. Be sure to also go through the safety precautions so that you can prepare yourself.

Age Boosts Risk for Critical Illness

It is true and medical experts have confirmed it from time to time that risk for critical illness with COVID-19 boosts with age, with elder adults at the most risk.

As a case to point, people in their late 50s are at more risk for severe illness than folks in their 30s and 40s. In similar fashion, people in their 70s and 60s are generally at an increased risk for critical illness than those in their 50s. Asper Dr. Israel, the most risk for severe illness from the coronavirus is among those who are more than 85 years old. Hence, if you fall in this age bracket, it is of paramount importance that you are very careful and take all the necessary safety precautions (more on this later).

What severe illness means is that an individual with COVID-19 might need:

  • Intensive care
  • Hospitalization
  • Ventilation to assist them in breathing
  • They might even kick the bucket!

Particular Medical Conditions Can Significantly Boost Risk

As per Dr. Israel Figa, other crucial factors can also boost your risk for critical illness (even more so if you are an old adult), like having particular underlying medical conditions. By comprehending the factors that put you at a significant risk, you can arrive at wise decisions regarding what type of precautions to take in your day to day life.

It is advised to continue following your treatment plan if you have an underlying medical condition:

  • Carry on taking your medicines and do not alter your treatment plan in any way without consulting with your healthcare provider. This is very important and do not make the mistake of taking any decision by yourself without seeking advise from an expert.
  • Have a month  supply (at least) of non-prescription and prescription medicines. Reach out to a healthcare provider, pharmacist, insurer about getting an additional supply (more than a month) of prescription medicines. In that way, you do not have to bother yourself taking regular trips to the pharmacy. If you are an aged adult, this task will be even more problematic for you!
  • Do not make the mistake of delaying obtaining emergency medical care owing to the coronavirus. Emergency departments have infection prevention contingency plans to safeguard you from contracting the coronavirus if you require care.
  • Contact your healthcare provider if you have any kind of issues regarding your underlying medical conditions or if you become unwell and think that you might have COVID-19. Dr. Israel Figa strongly assets that you should not hesitate to call 911 right away if you require emergency assistance.
  • If you do not happen to have a healthcare provider, reach out to a health department or a community health center closest to where you live.

Vital Precautions for Senior Living and Nursing Home Facilities

If you, a member of your family or some companion of yours resides in an assisted living facility, nursing home, or other kind of senior living home, you might be and quite understandably be concerned regarding coronavirus.

To safeguard your family members and friends in these facilities, Dr. Israel Figa and several other medical experts around the world have strongly advised that care facilities (long term):

  • Restrict the visitors
  • Allow visitation only during certain hours and limit the total number of visitors for each resident (for instance, no more than 3 visitors at a single time)
  • Recommend or require visitors (including aides, healthcare workers, and staff) to wear masks over their mouth and nose if visitors are allowed inside
  • Pre-schedule visitation to allow continued social distancing
  • Check healthcare residents and workers on a regular basis for symptoms and fevers
  • Restrict visitation to the room of the resident or any other designated location at the care facility such as the canteen
  • Limit certain activities within the care facility to ensure residents keep their distance from each other.

If care facilities follow the aforementioned precautions, then they can effectively deal with the coronavirus and make sure all residents and visitors that come visit stay safe at all times.

Fever Temperatures Might be Lower in Older Adults

In older adults (who are more than 65 years old), normal temperature of the body can be lower than in those who are much younger. For this exact reason, fever temperatures can also be lower in aged adults.

If you happen to be an older adult who is experiencing fever or any other critical symptoms and would like to get tested for the coronavirus that results in COVID-19, be sure to call your healthcare provider. This should be your first step. What you can also do is visit your local health department or state’s website for the latest local details on testing. If you do not have a healthcare provider, reach out to the nearest health department or community health center.  What you should not do under any circumstances is simply ignore your symptoms.

If you are caring for a patient who is more than 65 years old, you should know that that a single reading that is greater than 100 degrees Fahrenheit, multiple readings over 99 degrees Fahrenheit or a spike in temperature more than 2 degrees Fahrenheit above the normal temperature of the patient might be an infection sign.

Developing a Care Plan

In light of the pandemic, developing a care plan for yourself is very important if you are an old adult. A care plan briefly summarizes your:

  • Medicines
  • Medical conditions
  • Emergency contacts
  • Healthcare providers
  • Care options such as advance directives

It is important to complete your care plan by consulting with your doctor. Furthermore, if required, take help from a caregiver, or a member of your family in this regard.