The stores have run out of hand sanitizers and masks, hospitals, nursing homes and assisted living communities are on partial or total lock down to contain the spread. Scary isn't it? Those of us in the healthcare field are feeling somewhat shaky since we are in the front lines of this contagious virus.
In my opinion, this is only the beginning. So here are some things you can do to protect yourselves and your elderly loved ones.
1. Try to keep the elderly at home only visiting their doctors. Keep all doorknobs and items in the home clean with a Clorox based cleaner. Masks are not very useful so don't fret if you can't find them anywhere.
2. You can make your own hand sanitizer by mixing rubbing alcohol with aloe vera and add essential oil to make it smell better! It's cheaper and easily made.
3. Common sense, wash hands with soap and water, doesn't even need to be hot water. Make sure you wash palms and top of your hands, including under your nails for at least 20 seconds. Afterward, completely dry hands, wet or damp hands can attract dirt very quickly.
4. Especially those with dementia, make sure they don't touch their faces, since that's the quickest way to get bacteria into the system.
5. Don't panic! If your loved one starts to cough or spikes a low-grade fever, give them over the counter medication before taking them to the emergency room. In any emergency room or Urgent Care center you are more likely to encounter truly sick people that would put them, or you at risk.
6. Read and listen to the updates from the CDC, they are the experts, not our politicians.
Let's hope this gets contained as soon as possible and I hope you all stay healthy and safe!