No matter where we turn, it’s impossible to avoid the conversation that surrounds the developing international crisis that is Coronavirus, or COVID-19 as it’s formally known.
It can be challenging to weed out facts from fiction, and with so much scaremongering in the media, is it any wonder people are resorting to stockpiling pasta, toilet paper and hand sanitiser?Discussing the stockpile debate on Good Morning Britain, Telecare24 brand ambassador Dr Hilary Jones says, “If everyone stockpiles like you do for a month, they’ll be nothing to go back out to.”
The NHS is starting up a new initiative, with co-operation from Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Google to delete spam accounts and debunk fake news. There’s also an aim to arm the general public with easy to access health information via a knowledge panel that will show up during Google searches on mobile.
While most healthy and fit people are unlikely to experience life-threatening symptoms, it’s imperative to keep our vulnerable loved ones safe, including those with pre-existing medical conditions and the elderly.
“The fatality rate was 14.8% in people 80 or older, likely reflecting the presence of other diseases, a weaker immune system, or simply worse overall health.” statnews.com
So as the death toll in the UK rises, you may be starting to panic about how you can keep your loved ones safe, especially if they’re living alone with or without underlying health concerns.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has recently commented that the elderly and vulnerable may be asked to stay at home shortly, to lessen the risk of infection.
How Can You Keep Your Loved One’s Safe From Coronavirus?
Remaining calm is possibly the most important thing you can do right now. If you’re feeling stressed out from the constant news updates, it can be easy to fall into a pit of distress and overthinking about what could happen to your loved ones if the disease continues to spread. You should also remind yourself there’s only so much you can realistically do, and just make sure the basics are covered.
There are specific preventative measures in place that we should all adhere to, and this becomes even more crucial if you’re in contact with someone who has a weakened immune system or is elderly.
Protect Yourself First
When you arrive at work or upon getting home, make sure you wash your hands.
If you don’t have access to hot water and soap, use hand sanitiser gel.
If you do need to cough or sneeze, do it into a tissue or your sleeve, not onto your hands.
Once you’ve sneezed or coughed, put the tissue in the bin and wash your hands.
Try to avoid contact with people who are already unwell.
Don’t touch your face, including your eyes, nose and mouth, especially if your hands are not clean.
It may be that your loved one is hesitant about leaving the house, or has been advised to remain at home.
Check-in Over the Phone
Your loved one may start to feel very isolated if they live alone, and if they’re keeping their eyes on the news all day, it may lead to feelings of worry, which can increase stress levels, “Stress hormones such as cortisol can compromise immune function.” Guardian.com
Make sure you stay in touch over the phone. Check-in daily to try and keep mood levels calm and to stay up to date with positive life news that isn’t about Coronavirus.
Offer to Get the Shopping
It can be difficult for some vulnerable people to get out and do the shopping on a regular day, but with the added concern of Coronavirus, it may become quite a worry if supplies are running low.
This doesn’t mean you need to go mad and purchase all the toilet paper in Tesco, but keeping your loved one stocked up on their favourite meals, cupboard items, toiletries and tea bags is a good idea.
Encourage Physical Activity
Staying active in the house is extremely important to keep white blood cells moving, “Exercise mobilises them by increasing your blood flow, so they can do their surveillance jobs and seek and destroy in other parts of the body.” (Prof Arne Akbar)
This could be a case of walking up and down the stairs more frequently, a few laps around the house while tidying or perhaps some more routine based exercise such as gentle stretching or light aerobics. You could pass on an old DVD or print off some basic activities to follow.
How a Careline Alarm Can Help During the Coronavirus Outbreak
A careline alarm will not only give your loved one a sense of security and peace of mind generally but during periods where they may be isolated due to COVID-19, it is a lifeline to the outside world if there is a medical emergency.
If symptoms of Coronavirus are present (a cough, a high temperature, shortness of breath), the best thing to do is call the COVID-19 helpline on 111 as advised by the NHS. As always if you’re feeling unwell, we’re still here to provide an emergency response if required, and our customers should never be afraid to press the button. Our highly-trained care team operators are more than happy to assist and offer support when a key holder or emergency services are required. We have contingency plans in place to ensure that our monitoring centre will always be available to take calls no matter what.
Your careline alarm should be tested once a month as usual, but if your loved one is unlikely to see someone for an extended period, make sure to do this when you can in preparation. It will also be beneficial to educate the user about testing, so this can be actioned in your absence.
Please get in touch if you’d like to buy an alarm, we dispatch next working day delivery, and our friendly customer service team are happy to discuss your needs on 0800 180 8220, [email protected] or via live chat on our website.