If you suspect your aging relative has COVID-19, you may be uncertain when it’s necessary to seek emergency medical care. When the symptoms of the virus are mild, it’s probably best to call the doctor before taking the older adult in since they could inadvertently spread the virus. However, in cases where symptoms are severe, getting immediate medical attention is necessary.
What are Severe Symptoms?
You may be aware that fever is one of the signs of COVID-19, but is it one that indicates a need for medical attention? Experts say no. It turns out that data collected since the virus was declared a pandemic shows that fever isn’t the best indicator of the virus. Researchers at Harvard Medical School say that a recent study of information from 1,000 people who received care for respiratory illness showed that while fever may occur with COVID-19, other symptoms offer a more specific indicator.
One of the symptoms that indicates a need for medical attention is shortness of breath. If your older family member indicates they feel like they are having trouble “catching their breath” or that it seems like they can’t fill up their lungs, they may be infected with the virus. Shortness of breath typically gets worse with exertion, such as while walking or climbing stairs.
Another COVID-19 specific sign that researchers have found is the loss of sense of smell. This usually happens within the first couple of days of the older adult experiencing their first symptoms.
Other warning signs of severe illness include:
- Pain or pressure in the chest that doesn’t go away.
- Confusion that wasn’t previously present.
- Trouble waking the person or keeping them awake.
- A bluish coloring in the lips or face, which is caused by lack of oxygen.
What Should You Do if Severe Symptoms are Present?
If you see severe symptoms in your older family member, it’s important that they receive medical help right away. It’s best to call 911 or to call the emergency department before bring the senior in to notify them that they will be receiving a person with COVID-19 symptoms. This can help the medical providers to take steps to protect other patients and staff members.
If you’re concerned about your aging relative contracting the virus, senior care can help with prevention. A senior care provider can assist with regularly disinfecting the house to remove germs from frequently touched surfaces. Senior care providers can also help to keep older adults safe when they need to leave the house for groceries or appointments by reminding them to wear a mask and practice social distancing.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Senior Care in Upper Darby , PA please contact the caring staff at True Direct Home Health Care today.
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