The Department of Health and Family Welfare, Punjab, has issued an advisory for the special care of the elderly and the senior citizens in the wake of corona virus.
The advisory is for the elderly citizens aged 60 or above due to their low immunity against corona virus and who suffer from chronic respiratory, heart, kidney and liver ailments.
The advisory entails the elderly people to stay indoors and avoid any visitors. In case of an unavoidable meeting, 1 metre distance must be observed. Washing of hands for 40 seconds and using alcohol based sanitizer can be done. In case of cough or sneeze, the handkerchief should be used to cover the face. They should keep the list of government helpline numbers handy for immediate use and download COVA APP developed by the Punjab Government for correct info on COVID-19.
The elderly must avoid social and religious gatherings. In order to maintain fitness and mobility, they may consider doing light exercise and yoga at home. Coming to food, the elderly should have home cooked hot meals besides taking fresh juices to boost immunity and frequent intake of water. They must also take medicine only prescribed by their doctors and in case they develop fever, cough or have difficulty in breathing then they must contact the nearest healthcare Centre. They can also opt for teleconsultation helpline number of the Punjab Government 1800-180-4104 for seeking advice from the physician.
Since in the elderly age, mental well being assumes great significance, the elderly people may communicate with their neighbours provided the social distancing guidelines are observed. They should develop an interest in hobbies such as painting, listening to music and reading and must avoid tobacco, alcohol and other drugs to kill loneliness.
Since the elderly cannot take proper care of themselves, the role of care takers also assumes importance. The caretakers should have a sense of emotional connection with the elderly even if the elderly are in bad mood. The caretakers must keep themselves thoroughly cleaned while helping the elderly and should wear masks, use sanitizers, soaps besides cleaning the surfaces often used. The caretakers should assist the elderly in washing hands and must contact the nearest medical facility if the elderly develops fever, cough, doesn’t feels to eat food.
The advisory also places responsibility on the old age homes and entails them to ensure adequate stock of medicines, regular visits by the doctors, demarcate a separate area as isolation ward and properly disinfect all the areas of the old age homes especially the toilets, kitchen.
Also, in case an elderly person is tested corona virus positive with whom one had a contact, the matter should be reported to the helpline number 104 and State Control Room No. 01722920074/08872090029.