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Lifestyle & Leisure

Alone issues coronavirus guidelines

Wednesday, 11th March, 2020 3:57pm

Older people are being urged to take extra care and observe health guidelines following the outbreak of coronavirus in Ireland. Older people may be more vulnerable to viruses such as the coronavirus (Covid-19), due to compromised or weakened immune systems or pre-existing health issues.

Alone, a national organisation that supports older people to age happily and securely at home, is advising older people to remain calm and follow the relevant preventative measures to stay well in order to reduce their risk of contracting the virus.

Seán Moynihan, CEO of Alone commented: “We advise that older people remain calm yet vigilant until the threat of coronavirus subsides. Viruses such as these often pose more of a threat to older people, who may have compromised immune systems or pre-existing health conditions.

“45 per cent of the people who use Alone's services are over the age of 80, and understandably outbreaks such as this can be very worrying. Over the next few days, Alone's services will be reaching out to older people in the community who may be vulnerable or concerned, to offer them the support and advice that they need. We are also reaching out to the HSE to coordinate our response.”

Alone is advising that older people practice the following precautions to reduce the general risk of acute respiratory infections while out and about:

* Wash hands regularly, especially after direct contact with ill people or their environment

* Avoid close contact with people suffering from acute respiratory infections or other illnesses

* Individuals with symptoms of acute respiratory infection should practice cough etiquette (maintain distance, cover coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues or clothing, and wash hands)

Mr Moynihan continued: “It is important that older people follow all HSE guidelines and take all preventative measures as recommended; wash your hands regularly and use alcohol based hand sanitizer to prevent the spread of bacteria. It is also important that individuals of all ages, though they may not be among vulnerable groups themselves, remember to be conscious of their potential to spread coronavirus and other winter illnesses, and to take similar precautions.”

Any person concerned that they may have symptoms of coronavirus should immediately isolate themselves from others and contact their GP by phone.

 

Contact Alone on 0818-222024 if you have concerns about your own wellbeing, or the wellbeing of a vulnerable older person in the community. Further information, including advice and tips for older people in extreme weather conditions, can be found on alone.ie.

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