COVID-19: What Older Adults Should Know
In times like the era of COVID-19, staying informed is key to staying healthy. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is our go-to resource for recommendations on what older adults should know about novel coronavirus. Below, you can find their latest findings and recommendations as of March 19, 2020:
COVID-19 is a new disease and we are learning more about it every day. Older adults are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
Among adults with confirmed COVID-19 reported in the US:
- Estimated percent requiring hospitalization
- 31-70% of adults 85 years old and older
- 31-59% of adults 65-84 years old
- Estimated percent requiring admission to intensive care unit
- 6-29% of adults 85 years old and older
- 11-31% of adults 65-84 years old
- Estimated percent who died
- 10-27% of adults 85 years old and older
- 4-11% of adults 65-84 years old
What you can do
- If you have a serious underlying medical condition
- Wash your hands often.
- Avoid close contact (6 feet, which is about two arm lengths) with people who are sick.
- Put distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched services.
- Avoid all cruise travel and non-essential air travel.
- Call your healthcare professional if you have concerns about COVID-19 and your underlying condition or if you are sick.
- For more information on steps you can take to protect yourself, see CDC’s How to Protect Yourself
Stress and coping
- Older people are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 which may result in increased stress during a crisis.
- Fear and anxiety about the COVID-19 pandemic can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions.
- Learn more about stress and coping.
Things you can do to support yourself
- Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories and social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.
- Take care of your body. Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep, and avoid alcohol and drugs.
- Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy.
- Connect with others. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.
- Call your healthcare provider if stress gets in the way of your daily activities for several days in a row.
If you, or someone you care about, are feeling overwhelmed with emotions like sadness, depression, or anxiety, or feel like you want to harm yourself or others call
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA’s) Disaster Distress Helpline: 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746. (TTY 1-800-846-8517)