What is coronavirus?
Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19 is a virus that affects the lungs and airways. For most the majority of us, it causes mild symptoms while for some older people it can be more serious and require medical treatment. Because it is a relatively new virus, there's still a lot that's unknown. The UK Government are making plans to help contain the virus as much as possible but there are a few steps you can take to help elderly relatives reduce their risk of catching or transmitting the virus to other people.
What are the symptoms of coronavirus?
The symptoms of Coronavirus are similar to common colds and flu however, if someone has the symptoms below it doesn’t necessarily mean they have coronavirus.
Common symptoms are:
• having a high temperature
• a shortness of breath
What should I do if I think I or my elderly relatives have Coronavirus symptoms?
If you think you have might have coronavirus do not go to your doctor’s surgery or hospital because you risk infecting other.
• First, stay calm
• Avoid contact with other people
• Use the NHS specialist online coronavirus service for advice
• Call the NHS on 111
How can I reduce the risk of my elderly relatives getting coronavirus?
You can help by encourage them they maintain good hygiene by washing their hands regularly.
• Try to avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth
• Wash your hands, frequently and thoroughly, with soap and hot water
• Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds
• Wash your hands when you get home after going out
• Wash your hands before eating or handling food
• Wash your hands after sneezing or blowing your nose
• Catch coughs or sneezes with a tissue or your sleeve, not your hands
• Put used tissues in the bin and then wash your hands
Should my elderly relative stop going out or seeing people?Most can carry on normally with day-to-day live as long as they maintain good hygiene by washing their hands regularly and do not have symptoms.
So far, the UK Government has not said people should not go out or meet with other people.
You only need to ‘self-isolate’ at home and avoid contact with others if you’ve been advised to by NHS 111 or a medical professional.
I’m worried about my elderly relatives. What should I do?
• Stay in touch over the phone or by popping over for a chat (assuming they are allowed to have contact with others)
• See if people need any shopping or help by running some errands
• Encourage people to stay active around the house and keep moving
If you’re worried, encourage them to use the NHS online coronavirus service or call 111. If they've been advised to self-isolate or are very worried about going out, there are still plenty of things you can do to help.
One way to avoid personal contact, while continuing to offer remote care and support, is by using assistive technology like the CPR Guardian personal alarm watch.
This can help us not only talk to loved ones, who understandably at this time may be feeling particularly concerned and isolated, but also to monitor their vital health data and movements remotely.
The CPR Guardian allows people to remain safe, independent and active. The discreet watch has a built-in emergency alert button, a heart rate monitor, a mobile phone and GPS tracking with Geo-Zone alerts which allow you to monitor your loved ones movements.
Designed with dementia sufferers, and other vulnerable people in mind, it is easily programmable out of the box, and communicates directly with a loved one’s mobile phone by using a simple app.
You can find out more about the CPR Guardian here.