The coronavirus can infect anyone, but older adults (60 and up) and those with underlying health conditions are at highest risk for serious complications and death.
As of today (3/16), Florida is reporting 149 cases, with four deaths related to coronavirus, according to the Florida Department of Health. In the United States, there are 1,678 coronavirus reported cases, with 41 deaths, according to the World Health Organization.
Community preparedness for coronavirus should include plans for older adults, people with disabilities and the organizations that support them in their communities. Many older adults in the Tampa Bay community depend on services and support provided in their homes to maintain their health and independence and are being impacted by closures due to coronavirus. Family members and other loved ones can step in to help ensure their safety.
Advocate Health Advisors, a Venice-based health and well-being advisory company, has compiled 5 tips from the CDC on how family members and caregivers can support older adults:
• Know what medications your loved one is taking and see if you can help them ensure they have extra on hand.
• Monitor food and other medical supplies (oxygen, incontinence, dialysis, wound care) needed and create a back-up plan.
• Ensure they have stocked up on non-perishable food to have on hand in their home to minimize trips to stores.
• Consider ways of getting food brought to their homes through family, social or commercial networks.
• If you care for a loved one living in a care facility, monitor the situation. Know the protocol if there is an outbreak.