Older adults, along with people who have comorbidities, and smokers include to the vulnerable group of people due to Coronavirus transmission (Covid-19).
UGM Geriatric Expert, Dr. Probosuseno, Sp.PD., K-Ger., S.E., explained that the elderly are susceptible to a variety of bacterial, virus, and disease infections, including Covid-19. It is because the functional capacity of the elderly's body organs decreases due to aging.
"The elderly have decreased functional capacity in almost all systems of their body, including their immunity, making them susceptible to any infection," he explained on Tuesday (21/4).
He gave an example of several body functions as people are growing older. Like the loss of the thymus gland, the skin becomes thinner, and last, there is a reduction of mucous glands and the function of the body's organs. Moreover, since there is a decrease in your appetite so that your nutritional intake is insufficient, this condition results in a slower response of body's speed.
The elderly are those aged 60 years and over. This group needs to be more vigilant, especially those who have comorbidities such as autoimmune diseases, diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, and heart disease. Also, the elderly with multi pathology or suffer from several diseases. If they have contacted or transmitted to Covid-19, they will probably get quite serious health complications.
"The most vulnerable or fragile elderly are the elderly above 80 years old, followed by the elderly aged 70-80 years, and finally the young, elderly aged 60-70 years," said the lecturer at the Faculty of Medicine, Public Health, and Nursing (FKKMK) UGM.
Ways to take good care of the Elderly
Then how to protect the elderly from the Covid-19 transmission? Probosuseno shared nine healthy and happy steps for the elderly. One of them, maintaining a proper and halal nutrition intake and supporting fluid needs by drinking enough warm water without having to wait for thirst.
"Keep your nutrition intake, eating lodeh vegetables is also good because they contain substances that are good for increasing endurance," he said.
Next, encourage the elderly to do sports with mild intensity with a total duration of 30 minutes every day. Sports not only can affect physical health but also affect the elderly's mental health. There are several examples of exercise for the elderly, they are clapping loudly for one minute and swinging your hands up and down 100 times in the morning, afternoon, and night.
Then, avoid stress. It is important because stress can reduce the body's immunity, stimulate adrenaline, increase blood pressure, and blood sugar.
Get enough sleep hour between 4 to 9 hours every day. During sleeping, the body is doubling the white blood cells and other cells that are very instrumental in the immune system.
Keep the environment clean is also another essential tip. One of the ways to keep the environment clean is by diligently washing hands with 70 percent soap or alcohol, especially when going to wipe the mouth, rubbed the eyes, or clean the nostrils.
Besides, it also increases the loyalty of belief. Numerous studies mention that worship, giving alms, giving thanks, being patient, and fasting is proven to be able to increase stamina and immunity. No less important, keep doing activities at home as you develop your hobby.
Another step is to leave things that are not necessary. Do not travel around when there is no urgent need because outside activities have the most prominent risk in which the Covid-19 transmitted.
"If it is not urgent, do not leave the house. For example, health control can be done by telemedicine as an alternative to online doctor consultation," he explained.
Other efforts that can be taken by continuing to carry out social activities. However, amid the current pandemic situation, Probosuseno advocated reducing direct social interaction. There is a recommendation stated that it is better to have virtual interaction via chat, telephone, or video call.
"In this way, they will stay connected to their family and environment so they will not be lonely since it is one of the causes that can affect their mental and physical health," he concluded.
Translator: Natasa A