Health & Wellness

Coronavirus and Care Facilities

Prevention is the key to keeping everyone safe and secure

By Erika Morris


As the coronavirus pandemic spreads, seniors and people with preexisting conditions are most at risk. Seniors are advised to stay home, wash their hands often, and self-isolate if showing any symptoms.

Seniors’ care homes all over the country have been implementing measures to protect the elderly. Quebec has banned all visits to care homes.

The most effective prevention method is social distancing. This means reducing your exposure to other people to preventing the virus from spreading.

In addition to social distancing, the best ways to protect yourself are to wash your hands often for 20 seconds, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (it should be at least 60% alcohol), avoid touching the face, and cover the mouth and nose to cough or sneeze.

Jennifer Whiteside, spokesperson and business manager for the Hospital Employees Union in British Columbia, said in the Toronto Star that seniors’ homes are prepared to deal with outbreaks using protocols on what to do during flu seasons. But while limiting social contact is good, care homes shouldn’t quarantine seniors in their rooms as isolation in stressful times can be problematic.

In an article on the independent academic website The Conversation, Laurie Archbald-Pannone, professor of geriatric medicine at the University of Virginia, has suggested that isolated seniors use video-chat technology such as Skype to talk to loved ones. She also suggests limiting news consumption so that one can stay informed without being overwhelmed.

Photo: iStock/mheim3011.