COVID-19 is a highly contagious virus that is affecting every country the world over, regardless of age or health. Individuals over the age of 65 are at a greater risk for contracting coronavirus. That’s why it’s particularly important to take the necessary precautions if you or a loved one struggles with a chronic illness.
Who is at Risk
According to the CDC, the following groups are considered part of the at-risk population.
- Individuals 65+ of age
- Those in nursing homes, or other long-term care facilities
If you have any of the following underlying health conditions, you may also be more vulnerable to developing dangerous symptoms.
- Lung disease
- Severe obesity
- Kidney disease
- Liver disease
Being immunocompromised means that you have an impaired immune system. You likely fall into this category if you have any of the following items apply to you.
- Cancer or chemotherapy
- Bonemarrow transplant
- Organ transplant
- Genetic immune deficiencies
- Poorly controlled HIV or AIDs
- Corticosteroid use
- Other medications that weaken the immune system.
How to Prepare
The best and safest policy to combat the spread of COVID-19 is to practice social distancing when at all possible. If you or your loved ones are in any of the at-risk categories listed above, the potential for serious symptoms and complications are very high. In addition to being susceptible, vulnerable individuals can also incubate the virus for longer than the standard 14 day period.
In addition to being vigilant and maintaining diligence with your hygiene and sanitation routines, there are a few other steps you can take to reduce your risk of getting sick with COVID-19.
Keep Up With Your Medications
If you live with a chronic illness, then you understand just how important it is to take your medication. This habit should not change in light of the pandemic. Continue your normal routine, and don’t change your treatment plan before consulting with your doctor.
Now is also an excellent time to make sure you have at least two weeks’ worth of your normal prescription and non-prescription medications. During this time, many pharmacies and insurance companies are making allowances that are helping patients get more than 14 days worth of many medications. Fewer trips to the pharmacy mean fewer chances to be exposed to the virus.
Talk to Your Healthcare Providers
Call your primary care physician and make sure that you’re up to date with your vaccinations. Generally, this is an important step towards maintaining every-day good health. However, it’s recommended that those over the age of 65 get vaccinations against influenza (the flu) and pneumococcal disease (pneumonia) to reduce the chance of these illnesses which would significantly compound symptoms related to COVID-19.
That being said, it’s imperative that those who struggle with chronic health conditions not be fearful of seeking medical treatment for their illness should the need arise. Emergency facilities are equipped and prepared to treat patients while doing everything they can to protect those in their care from COVID-19.
Additionally, if you believe that you have COVID-19, don’t hesitate to pursue medical assistance. And if you need emergency help, call 911.
CareLink is Here For You
As always, CareLink is here to help its clients. Our trained, compassionate staff is available to answer any questions you may have about quarantine preparedness, as well as your options for a care plan. It’s our mission to help our members maintain happy, healthy independent lives.