Coronavirus enters your body through goblet and ciliated cells. While the former is found along the respiratory tract, the latter sweeps mucus and dust to the throat. Coronavirus contains spike proteins on its surface; if these come into contact with the goblet or ciliated cells, they unlock the ACE2 protein within these cells. Once this happens, the virus reproduces, causing the infection. So, the virus can make its way into your body through your mouth and nose.
Coronavirus may be fatal for anyone; however, seniors are at a higher risk. This is because their immune system is relatively weaker and is unable to fight the infections well. Elders may also suffer from pre-existing conditions; so, complications can occur if they contract the virus.
Special measures for seniors to prevent infection
Older people must:
- Wash hands frequently
- Disinfect surfaces
- Practise social distancing
- Avoid going to public places, such as supermarkets, especially if there is a large outbreak in the locality
- Refrain from going to the garden
- Stay updated with the right information about coronavirus
- Develop a care plan by seeking assistance from a doctor and family members; it should contain information on existing ailments, medications, and emergency contacts
Preliminary steps to take in case of an emergency
During these trying times, older individuals who are unwell need to be extra cautious. They must seek an online consultation with a physician and avoid a personal visit to the clinic or hospital.
The doctor will ask questions to determine if the patient has contracted the coronavirus and hospitalization is required, depending on the severity of the condition. For instance, if the patient has fever or breathing-related difficulties, hospitalization may be necessary.
If the patient has to get admitted, they should not ask anyone to accompany them; this will help prevent the spread of infection. Instead, they should contact the hospital and ask for an ambulance.
If the fever is more than 1030 F, or if the patient presents with shortness of breath, he or she must try to take treatment preferably in a network hospital covered under the cashless health insurance policy.
How is a health plan beneficial?
Treating coronavirus may require hospitalization for several days or weeks. Additionally, if the patient is in a critical state, he may require ventilator assistance and/or admission to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). Without Covid-19 medical insurance, it may become difficult for the patient or his family members to meet treatment costs.
This is where a senior citizen health insurance plan can prove beneficial. This policy pays 100% of the sum insured in case of a positive diagnosis of the infection. It provides quarantine cover, wherein 50% of the sum insured is paid out in case the patient needs to be isolated due to a suspected infection. If the patient tests positive later, the insurer will pay the balance 50% to cover the treatment and hospitalization expenses.
If you are planning to buy a mediclaim policy for your parents who are above the age of 60, remember that it will not cover serious illnesses. So, avail a critical illness insurance plan online for them, even if they do not have any underlying health problems. This is because, as they grow older, the chances of critical illnesses increase, and you may find it difficult to pay for treatment expenses in the future.