No clear evidence is found regarding the high risk of older people to acquire the coronavirus pandemic, also known as COVID-19. However, the highest mortality rate is among the elderly, especially those with medical conditions. Medical experts added that even older people’s health is generally good, they are still prone to serious diseases. One factor contributing to this is the weakening of the immune system that comes with old age. Thus, extra safety precautions for older people and their families should have adhered.

Here are the recommended ways by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, geriatricians and infectious disease specialists to keep our older loved-ones safe from COVID-19.

1. Make it a habit to know and follow the guidelines.
For 20 seconds, wash your hands with soap and water regularly or cleanse them with hand sanitizers. Also, refrain from handshakes and mass gatherings. Objects that are touched often should be disinfected. Evade public transportation, and cancel other inessential travels. Accumulate necessary supplies and temporarily stop visiting grandchildren.

2. Use Telemedicine
Wellness visits are advised to cancel and use telemedicine sessions instead. Dr. Elizabeth Eckstrom, chief of geriatrics at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, agrees to it but has an apprehension that skipping visits might cause conditions to be out of control. However, Dr. Eckstrom also concurs that telemedicine can mostly aid this situation. In addition, talking to your doctor about stashing two or three months prescribed medicines can be also helpful.

3. Be mindful of social isolation
Social distancing is vital in controlling epidemics; however, experts warn this could also turn into social isolation, which is already a predicament in older communities. Based on the current findings of Pew Research Center, 16 percent of people aged 60 and older live alone in more than 130 countries. Researchers have found that isolation has its own negative effects on health. Switching to Zoom, Skype, Facetime or any virtual-meeting applications are suggested in order to compensate for any planned social gatherings.

4. Communicate with caregivers
Discussion about high standards of hygiene with aid workers should be done as suggested by Dr. David Nace, president-elect of the Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine. Furthermore, make sure that aid workers are healthy and they wash frequently. Equipment that will be used should also be disinfected.

5. Exercise, amidst pandemic.
Staying active can help improve the body’s immune system that can resist the effects brought by the coronavirus. Moreover, it also has mental and emotional benefits. Resort to going for a walk in a virus-free area instead of going to the gym filled with many people.