Corona Virus Disease 19 (Covid-19) has been declared a world pandemic by WHO (2020). Covid-19 is a disease caused by the Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV), or what is now known as SARS-CoV-2, which is a new type of virus that has never been identified in humans before.
Common signs and symptoms of Covid-19 infection include symptoms of acute respiratory disorders such as fever, cough and shortness of breath to severe cases causing pneumonia, acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.
Until now, it is still believed that the transmission of Covid-19 transmission is mainly through droplets and direct contact with objects that have been exposed to the virus.
Prevention and mitigation measures are the key to implementation in health and community services.
The most effective preventive measures in the community include:
- Stay away from crowds or crowds;
- Maintain hand hygiene by washing hands with soap and running water and/or using hand sanitizer;
- Avoid touching the eyes, nose and mouth;
- Practice coughing or sneezing etiquette by covering the nose and mouth with the inside of the upper arm or a tissue, then throwing the tissue in a closed trash can;
- Wear a medical mask if you have respiratory symptoms and perform hand hygiene after disposing of the mask, wear a cloth mask for those who do not have any symptoms;
- Keep a distance (at least 1 meter) from people with respiratory symptoms.
Prevention of Covid-19 Transmission for the Elderly in General
The elderly are a vulnerable group most at risk of death from Covid-19, so preventing transmission from the individual, family and community levels is very important. The steps to prevent the transmission of Covid-19 for the elderly in general are as follows:
- Stay at home / nursing home / senior living and carry out daily routine activities.
- Keep a distance (1 meter or more) from other people, avoid touching, shaking hands or kissing on the cheek, and stay away from sick people.
- Maintain hand hygiene by frequently washing hands with soap or hand sanitizer, and avoiding touching the eyes, nose and mouth.
- The elderly and their companions always wear masks.
- When coughing or sneezing, cover your nose and mouth with the inside of your upper arm or a tissue.
- Get enough rest and sleep, at least 6-8 hours a day or more.
- Maintain the living environment so that air circulation is good and exposed to sunlight.
- Eat foods with balanced nutrition (enough carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins and minerals). In addition, drink enough, and if necessary take multi vitamins and avoid and stop smoking.
- Doing sufficient physical activity at home, such as light exercise at home using video tutorials, taking care of plants around the house while sunbathing in the morning, making hand creativity to train motor skills, reading books and completing crossword puzzles to prevent cognitive decline, worship, cooking a favorite meal or other fun activity.
- Stay away from crowds, gatherings and social activities, such as social gathering, reunions, recreation, going shopping and others.
- Maintain mental and psychosocial health of the elderly by avoiding news/information that provokes excessive worry, and accessing more positive news/information that gives good suggestions and beliefs and generates optimism. In addition, maintaining communication and friendship with children, grandchildren and other relatives as well as friends through long-distance communication, or arranging visit schedules while still paying attention to the transmission prevention protocol.
- The elderly who have chronic diseases (such as hypertension, diabetes or other chronic diseases) can carry out independent health monitoring at home using simple medical devices, such as digital sphygmomanometers, digital thermometers, simple blood checks. In addition, make sure that regular medicines that must be taken every day for a long period of time remain in sufficient supply at home.
- The elderly are advised not to go to the health center or hospital for treatment, unless they experience emergency signs:
- Changes in consciousness (talking slurred, not connecting, more often sleepy, suddenly wet the bed).
- Severe chest pain.
- Diarrhea, vomiting, refusal to eat, severe weakness, high fever 38oC.
- Falls causing severe pain/suspected fracture/fainting.
- Severe pain.
- Bleeding that is difficult to stop.
- Severe shortness of breath.
- Sudden nervous breakdown (weakness of limbs, severe headache, slurred speech, seizures).
That is the step by step prevention of Covid-19 effectively both in general and in particular for the elderly. Hope it is useful