Home / Science / Caring for seniors during COVID-19 pandemic — ScienceDaily

Caring for seniors during COVID-19 pandemic — ScienceDaily

Caring for seniors during COVID-19 pandemic — ScienceDaily

Older adults are at elevated threat for issues from COVID-19 and are dying at the next charge than youthful sufferers. In mild of those issues, Regenstrief Institute and Indiana University School of Medicine scientist Kathleen Unroe, M.D., MHA, and colleagues lay out tips and finest practices for healthcare suppliers and household caregivers who’re offering care for seniors during the COVID-19 pandemic. Their suggestions are revealed within the Journal of Geriatric Emergency Medicine.

“Our senior patients need additional measures of care and protection, and COVID-19 only exacerbates those needs,” stated Dr. Unroe, one of many authors on the paper. “Family care providers need to be aware of the hazards COVID-19 presents to their loved ones and understand how to mitigate them. I hope this information will provide helpful guidance to protect older adults during this crisis.”

In the article, Dr. Unroe and her colleagues present perception into a number of facets of how the novel coronavirus is affecting the care of older adults.

Testing Seniors For COVID-19

Dr. Unroe and her colleagues spotlight the necessity to prioritize testing for older adults even after elevated screening capability is accessible, on account of their elevated threat of issues from the illness. They advise well being programs to make testing accessible in settings apart from the emergency division at any time when potential and to make use of choices reminiscent of telecare within the screening course of.

Caring for Older Adults

Older adults could also be experiencing important isolation already, and social distancing might worsen issues from seclusion, Dr. Unroe and her group notice within the paper. Reduced time with caregivers might also place older adults in danger, on account of missed alternatives to catch cognitive or common well being decline and unrecognized falls.

If protecting tools is critical for caregivers to put on round sufferers with cognitive decline, this transformation in look could also be very disorienting for sufferers, and sufferers with dementia who’re required to put on protecting tools might not perceive why they’re doing so. Dr. Unroe and her group suggest that clinicians present further sources to caregivers and steer them towards communities of assist.


While fever and respiratory signs have been well known as key signs related to COVID-19, these signs usually current otherwise in older adults. Fever, for instance, could also be blunted or absent solely during an infection for older adults. Respiratory signs might both be masked or exacerbated by co-occurring ailments, reminiscent of COPD, that may additional worsen outcomes. Dr. Unroe and group level to the Infectious Disease Society of America’s modified definition of fever for older adults as a useful various:

  • A single oral temperature over 100°F, or
  • 2 oral repeated temperatures over 99°F or
  • An improve in temperature of two°F over the baseline temperature

The article additionally options key factors, proof and case research surrounding different problems with elder care, together with transitions in care between websites reminiscent of nursing properties and hospitals, steerage for triage, and recommendations for inpatient care programs adjustments.

“As our understanding of this virus continues to improve,” stated Dr. Unroe, “we must revise our practices of care, both clinically and residentially, to make sure that our most vulnerable populations are protected.”

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Materials offered by Regenstrief Institute. Note: Content could also be edited for type and size.

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