Why do senior citizens have to be extra cautious when it comes to COVID-19?
Well, during a Facebook live session on the Ministry of Health's (MOH) page, MOH representatives Dr Jolyn Rumetta and Dr Noraliza explained that symptoms could actually differ for them.
"The elderly are considered as the group that is higher risk because when they get COVID-19, they will get it worst than the rest," said Dr Noraliza.
She also explained that looking at the statistics, about 60% of those who died from COVID-19 in the country were aged 60 and above.
Dr Jolyn then said that while the usual symptoms for COVID-19 were fever, cough, sore throat and lethargy, senior citizens may experience it differently.
"They may have fevers that are not that bad, maybe just a low grade fever or maybe they just don't feel well or feel weak," she said.
She added that it was important to notice any kind of change in those who are more elderly during this period.
Among the things you should look out for include:
Fever (even a slight fever)
Or general feeling that they are unwell
Dr Jolyn said that some senior citizens may also feel like it is difficult to even get out of bed.
"This is why it is important for family members or caretakers to be more vigilant when it comes to spotting the symptoms among the older ones in the family," she said.
What are other things you can do to keep senior citizens safe?
Some of the things that you can do to protect senior citizens include:
If you're living with a senior citizen, check their temperature regularly.
If you live apart, instead of video calls, try an old fashioned phone call instead. Some experts have said that it is easier to gauge if something is wrong with a senior citizen or any person when you listen to their voice.
Ask specific questions to senior citizens to determine if they have any of the symptoms. (E.g. Do you feel like you have a fever? How is your throat today?)
If the senior citizen is living at a home, the staff should monitor them daily. They should look out for unusual behaviour and check their temperature and blood pressure. Communal activities should also be temporarily stopped.
If you are sick, NEVER visit a senior citizen or any other person in the high risk group.
Thank you Dr Jolyn and Dr Noraliza for all the tips.
For more advice on matters related to COVID-19, catch the live Facebook sessions by MOH from Monday to Friday.
Let's all learn as much as we can about this disease and do our part in flattening the curve and breaking the chain of infection.