Protection of Seniors against Covid-19

Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of IndiaDepartment of Geriatric Medicine AIIMS, New Delhi

Advisory for Senior Citizens during COVID-19

Based on the Census 2011 age-cohort data, it is projected that there would be approximately 16 Crore Senior citizens (aged above 60 yrs) in the Country.

Senior citizens above the age of 60 years face an increased risk in COVID times. This is an advisory for Senior Citizens and their caregivers on how to protect them from increased health risk during this period.

For whom is this?

• Aged 60 and above particularly those with following medical conditions

o Chronic (long-term) respiratory disease, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), bronchiectasis, post tuberculous sequelae, interstitial lung disease

o Chronic heart disease, such as heart failure
o Chronic kidney disease
o Chronic liver disease, such as alcoholic, and viral hepatitis
o Chronic neurologic conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease, stroke o Diabetes
o Hypertension
o Cancer

Sr Citizens between age group 60-69 yrs8.8cr
Sr Citizens between age group 70-79 yrs6.4cr
Assisted elders (above 80 years or people who require medical assistance)2.8cr
Indigent elders (destitute who are homeless or deserted by the families)0.18cr

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Advisory for Senior Citizens who are mobile:

Stay within the house all the time Avoid having visitors at home If meeting is essential, maintain a distance of 1 meter If living alone, one can consider depending on healthy neighbours for acquiring essentials for home Avoid small and large gatherings at all cost Remain actively mobile within the house consider doing light exercise and yoga at home Maintain hygiene by washing hands. Especially before having meals and after using the washroom. This can be done by washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds Clean frequently touched objects such as spectacles Sneeze and cough into tissue paper/handkerchief. After coughing or sneezing dispose of the tissue paper in a closed bin/wash your handkerchief and hands Ensure proper nutrition through home cooked fresh hot meals, hydrate frequently and take fresh juices to boost immunity Take your daily prescribed medicines regularly. Monitor your health. If you develop fever, cough and/or breathing difficulty or any other health issue, immediately contact nearest health care facility and follow the medical advice Talk to your family members (not staying with you), relatives, friends via call or video conferencing, take help from family members if neededCome in close contact with someone who is displaying symptoms of coronavirus disease (fever/cough/breathing difficulty). Shake hands or hug your friends and near ones Go to crowded places like parks, markets and religious places Cough or sneeze into your bare hands Touch your eyes, face and nose self-medicate Go to hospital for routine checkup or follow up. As far as possible make tele- consultation with your healthcare provider Invite family members and friends at home
• Due to Summer, avoid dehydration. Consume an adequate amount of water. (Caution for individuals with pre-existing Heart and Kidney disease)

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Advisory for caregivers of dependent senior citizens

Wash your hands before helping the older individual Cover nose and mouth adequately using a tissue or cloth while attending on the senior citizen Clean the surfaces which are frequently used. These include a walking cane, walker, wheel-chair, bedpan etc Assist the older individual and help her/him in washing hands Ensure proper food and water intake by senior citizens Monitor his/her healthGo near senior citizens if suffering from fever/cough/breathing difficulty Keep senior citizens completely bed-bound Touch the Senior Citizen without washing hands 
• Contact help-line if the older adult has the following symptoms: o Fever, with or without body ache o New-onset, continuous cough, shortness of breath o Unusually poor appetite, inability to feed

Advisory for senior citizens on mental well-being

Communicate with relatives at home Communicate with neighbours, provided social distancing is followed, and gathering of people is avoided Provide a peaceful environment Rediscover old hobbies like painting, listening to music, reading Make sure to access and believe only the most reliable sources of information Avoid tobacco, alocohol and other drugs to avoid loneliness or boredom If you have an already existing mental illness, call helpline (08046110007)Isolate yourself Confine oneself in a room Follow any sensational news or social media posts. Spread or share any unverified news or information further
• Contact helpline in case of
o Change in mental status, such as excessively drowsy during the day, not responding, speaking inappropriately
o New onset of inability to recognise relative which he/she could do before


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