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What Older Adults Need To Know About Coronavirus COVID-19

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People with heart, lung or kidney disease or diabetes may be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19, according to the CDC .

The CDC says, if you’re one of the people at increased risk for serious illness because of the coronavirus, it’s especially important for you to take action to protect yourself.

The first thing you can do is take care of your own health

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Cover your coughs or sneezes with a tissue, or cough or sneeze into your elbow, not your hands.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces in your home such as counters, tabletops and doorknobs to remove germs.
  • Use household cleaning sprays or wipes according to the label instructions.

The next thing you can do is make a plan for what to do if you do get sick

  • Know who will take care of you if your caregiver gets sick.
  • Talk to your healthcare provider about getting extra necessary medications to have on hand.
  • Get enough supplies, too, including enough household items and groceries so you can stay home for a few weeks if you have to.

The third thing you can do is pay attention to what’s happening locally

  • If COVID-19 is spreading in your community, stay home as much as possible and avoid crowds.
  • If you get sick with fever, cough or shortness of breath, call your healthcare provider.
  • If you develop warning signs, such as difficulty breathing, persistent pain or pressure in your chest, confusion or blueness of the lips or face, these may be signs of serious illness. Call 911.

Things you can do to support older adults in your life

  • Know what medications they are taking and see if you can help them have extra on hand.
  • Monitor food and other medical supplies (oxygen, incontinence, dialysis, wound care) needed and create a back-up plan.
  • Stock up on non-perishable food items to have on hand in your home to minimize trips to stores.
  • If you care for a loved one living in a care facility, monitor the situation, ask about the health of the other residents frequently and know the protocol if there is an outbreak.

For more information, click here or call 1-800-CDC-INFO.

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