COVID-19: Safety Tips for High-risk relatives

It’s important to know what to do if you have Covid-19 symptoms. But even more important is knowing how to take care of our High-risk relatives.

Safety measures Covid-19 as a new normal

The coronavirus pandemic is making everyone aware of handwashing and protecting others from coughs and sneezes. Along with those essential steps, practices such as social and physical distancing, and self-quarantine, and isolation when appropriate can slow the rate of infection in a city, town, or community.

When it comes to COVID-19, older people, people with past illnesses, and children are especially vulnerable to severe illness.

Researchers are showing that adults 60 and older, especially those with preexisting medical conditions, especially heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, or cancer are more likely to have severe – even deadly – coronavirus infection than other age groups.

Of course – it is not recommended to neglect medical visits for previous illnesses, but following safety precautions when going to the doctor, and getting groceries, medications, and supplies can lower your risk of getting COVID-19.

Who is at high risk of becoming seriously affected by COVID-19?

Adults over 65 are at a higher risk of becoming seriously ill from COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported that 8 out of 10 COVID-19 deaths in the United States have been in adults 65 years old and older.

Older adults who live in nursing homes are at especially high risk of COVID-19 infection due to living in close proximity to others. 

People of any age are at risk of serious illness from COVID-19 if they have health conditions, including:

  • Lung conditions, such as moderate or severe asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), lung cancer, and other respiratory disorders.
  • Heart disease, such as high blood pressure, stroke, coronary artery disease, heart failure, or a personal history of a heart attack.
  • Diabetes, including Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.
  • Weakened immune systems caused by cancer treatment, bone marrow or organ transplantation, immune deficiencies, HIV/AIDS, or prolonged use of medications such as corticosteroids.
  • Obesity, especially if body mass index is 40 or higher.
  • Chronic kidney disease, especially if undergoing dialysis.
  • Liver disease

Safety Tips to protect yourself and your loved ones from COVID-19 infection

Keep yourself well is the first and most important, as a caretaker you should take all the precautions you can to avoid becoming infected yourself. 

Here are some basics:

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after providing care, preparing food, using the bathroom, or touching surfaces in public places. 
  • Avoid crowds, and if you cough or sneeze, do so into the bend of your elbow or into a disposable tissue. 
  • Keep your hands away from your face.
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces in your home often, including mobility and medical equipment used by your loved one, such as walkers, canes, and handrails.

If you or your loved one is at high risk for COVID-19 complications, the best way to reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19 is to avoid contact with people who do not live in your household by staying home as much as possible. 

You should also follow all public health guidelines, including recommendations for social distancing, proper hand hygiene, cleaning and sanitizing of surfaces, and wearing a cloth face covering when going out in public. 

You can also take care of your immune system and overall well-being by getting regular exercise, managing stress, eating a balanced, healthy diet, and getting plenty of quality sleep.

Minimize the risk 

Postpone unnecessary doctor visits. If an older adult in your care is feeling well, consider helping them postpone elective procedures, annual checkups, and other non-essential doctor visits.

Keep in mind that many older people, especially those living with chronic illness, have important relationships with their caregivers. To help them stay in touch, ask their doctors’ offices if they offer telemedicine, which enables doctors and patients to communicate over video, email, or other means rather than face-to-face.

Avoid travel. Older adults should put off non-essential travel, particularly cruises or trips with itineraries that would expose them to crowds.

Symptoms of exposure? 

If you or your loved one feel that you might have been exposed to someone diagnosed with COVID-19 or if anyone develops symptoms such as cough, fever, or shortness of breath, call your family doctor, nurse helpline, or urgent care facility.

For a medical emergency such as severe shortness of breath or high fever, call 911. 

For more information about Covid-19 and safety measures, visit us at