How You Can Protect Yourself from Coronavirus in a Long-Term Care Facility
We’ve heard it so much on the news recently: “only the elderly and people with pre-existing health conditions” need to worry about this virus. Unfortunately, that could be you! Whether you’re loved one is at risk, or you are, don’t be swept under the rug as a means to put the public’s mind at ease. Recent events of the virus spreading in a nursing home in Washington State may make you question what you can do to protect yourself.
Senior living facilities are a stomping ground for this virus. It spreads quickly and without notice. Once you have it there is no cure and, to date, there is no vaccine to prevent it. However, if you’re living in one of these facilities, you’re not completely helpless.
Avoid Communal Activities
As with much of the world, we understand that this virus is going from person to person. It is made even worse by the fact that most people don’t show symptoms of the virus until days or even weeks later. This means that you’re more likely to catch it because you may be talking to a healthy person who is contagious.
Our nation will move through this pandemic and life will return to normal at some point. For right now your best line of defense is to avoid others whenever possible. If your living facility offers game night or if you regularly dine with other residents, it’s best to stay in your own living space for the meantime.
The CDC is instructing all healthcare facilities to supply antibacterial soaps and hand sanitizer that is between 60-90% alcohol. It is vital to your health that you continue to use these items often. If you do not have these items in your room notify staff or contact a family member. These items will help you to stay healthy and they are worth it to ask for them.
Another helpful tip; avoid touching your face and eyes. Even though you’re washing your hands, it’s best to avoid any contact with your face. This respiratory illness is severe and according to the World Health Organization and the Center for Disease Control, it can be spread through contact with the face.
Keep in Contact with Family During Lockdowns
If you can, keep in contact with family members even when they are not allowed into your facility; you can work together to ensure you’re getting the best care. Hopefully, it won’t, but if an outbreak does occur while you’re in the living facility, letting your family know may help.
Family will also help you to keep your spirits bright and stay connected during Coronavirus lockdowns. Humans are social beings. We enjoy interacting with others. Making phone calls and enjoying time with loved ones will brighten your mood making lockdowns more bearable.
Understanding your rights and how to best handle this outbreak will get you through it. Avoiding contact with others, maintaining hygiene, and reaching out to family when necessary are all effective options for keeping you safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.