KANAWHA COUNTY, WV (WOWK) — As cases of the Coronavirus continues to rise, world-wide researchers have learned that older adults are particularly susceptible to the respiratory like illness.
We often talk about how the elderly are referred to as the most vulnerable when it comes to credit card fraud, new technology, and many other things. But what do seniors do to protect themselves against something they can’t even see?
Not being able to see or touch your loved one, that’s the new reality for many families across the country, as senior living communities take steps to protect their residents. The largest step- limiting visitation by outsiders.
According to worldometers.info, 21% of people over the age of 80 will die if infected with Coronavirus. That’s just one of the reasons Gov. Justice and government officials across the country decided to close schools.
Justice stated in a press conference on March 13, “what if we wake into a situation where we’ve lost a bunch of our elderly people. how are you gonna answer the question, because at that point in time we react and boom close the schools, how are you gonna answer the question ‘why did you wait?'”
Paulette Justice of Kanawha Valley Senior Services said they are taking the proper steps recommended by the CDC to continue to care for the elderly. She stated, “we immediately developed a policy on the CDC guidelines on infectious diseases to have a basis on how we operate.”
Kanawha Valley Senior Services offers many different programs to people over the age of 60 in Kanawha County, but many of them involved getting seniors outside and interacting with others – those are now on hold.
Paulette added, “We’ve eliminated our ‘lunch and learn’ for now, where we bring people in a teach them different skills, we’ve had to close our programs for Alzheimer’s and dementia.”
Some businesses are helping keep seniors safe as well. Dollar General says the first hour of every day they are open is exclusively for seniors to shop without the fear of mingling in large groups.
Aside from Loneliness and isolation – perhaps the bigger fear is watching a lifetime of earnings – the income the live on – disappear in the plummeting stock market.
John Burdette of Fourth Avenue Financial’s advice is to, “keep calm, don’t panic, don’t make major changes.”