The Covid-19 pandemic continues to devastate societies worldwide. New variants, like Omicron, emerge, and pose a risk to seniors. Older adults who are vaccinated and boosted avoid the worst possible outcomes of infection. Little is currently known about Omicron , but the variant still affects seniors.
Coronaviruses mutate, just like the influenza and HPV viruses. Viruses are designed to keep mutating as a means of survival. The Alpha variant was the first to shock societies. Next, Delta caused severe infections. Now, Omicron is here to stay, and it’s incredibly contagious.
Older adults are at most risk for contracting severe illness when infected by SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19. The Omicron variant of the coronavirus is highly transmissible, which puts seniors in a vulnerable position. Aging people’s immune systems have less of an ability to fight back.
Does Omicron cause mild illness?
As of the end of December 2021, Covid incident managers from the World Health Organization (WHO) have suggested that based on data from South Africa, the Omicron variant causes milder symptoms, in comparison to the severe illness caused by the delta variant.
Although the current data is encouraging, it is too early to determine how older people will respond to Omicron . Most people infected by Omicron have belonged to the younger demographic, and young people generally experience less severe symptoms from Covid-19 infections.
Medical experts are optimistic that Omicron will remain less of a threat to seniors. However, the existing data on people over the age of 60 is too insufficient to paint a clear picture. Data about Omicron is also limited on seniors who have underlying medical conditions and who are unvaccinated.
Given that Omicron spreads faster than any previous variant of Covid, it is slowly starting to affect the older populations. As the Omicron variant continues to infiltrate societies, more accurate data will emerge. As of now, the Omicron wave has not yet fully impacted the general population.
Fortunately, seniors are a highly vaccinated group. While vaccinations offer a comforting level of protection, booster shots are even more critical. Omicron can potentially cause worse illness in seniors because their immune systems are not powerful enough to produce antibodies. Don’t understand this. Should be clarified. Is it worse illness than unvaccinated? Worse illness than younger people?
While some medical professionals remain hopeful that Omicron will cause only mild illness, the WHO cautions against such optimism. The WHO warns that the Omicron variant of Covid can result in severe illness and lead to more hospitalizations that burden the healthcare systems.
Medical experts from the WHO have seen Omicron ’s devastating impact. People with Omicron infections have experienced the full spectrum of disease: Asymptomatic infections, as well as mild illness, have occurred; on the other end of the spectrum, severe disease and death have impacted lives.
Hundreds of thousands of Omicron cases can double within two days. Since Omicron is extremely transmissible, more people will end up hospitalized. Medical facilities that are filled beyond capacity will fail. In an overburdened hospital system, it is inevitable that people will die.
How do seniors protect themselves from Omicron ?
The Covid-19 pandemic is not over yet. Considering that variants of Covid, like Omicron , continue to emerge, seniors should practice health safety. Covid-19 prevention practices include washing hands with soap and water often, maintaining social distance, and wearing face masks.
A tightly fitted face mask, like an N95, is recommended. Wearing a high-quality mask is critical when seniors gather among a large number of people. Aging people can safely conduct errands, like shopping for groceries or visiting the post office, with the protection of a properly fitted face mask.
Families with senior loved ones may reasonably postpone gatherings and travel for the time being. Coronavirus transmission rates have spiked due to the recent holiday travel and family get-togethers. However, Omicron infections are expected to decline in the coming weeks and months.
Recent data indicates that after the six-month peak, aging bodies show no evidence of antibodies. Vaccinated seniors are therefore urged to get a booster shot. Covid-19 vaccines and boosters are free. Families are also advised to take a Covid test before visiting elderly loved ones in care facilities.
Although the senior population is a highly vaccinated group, with 88 percent of them being fully vaccinated, aging adults remain the most vulnerable for severe illness and death. Out of the 800,000 people in the US who have died from Covid, 600,000 have been 65 or over.
Omicron has been detected in 51 US states and multiple countries around the world. Since it was first identified in November 2021, Omicron has become the most transmissible variant of Covid to date. Seniors must remain vigilant about wearing face masks in addition to other Covid prevention strategies.
Due to the high transmission rates of the coronavirus and its variants, senior centers and day centers are temporarily shutting down. The shutdowns place an extra burden on family caregivers. Families will avoid caregiver burnout by hiring senior home care services from Assisting Hands Home Care.
We are a national leader in reliable home care for the senior population. Our professional caregivers are experts in providing daily support so that aging adults have the opportunity to age in place. We remain up-to-date on Covid prevention practices and keep our care recipients as safe as possible.
Responsibilities typically handled by our teams of compassionate caregivers include help with personal hygiene tasks, including bathing, grooming and toileting. We shop for groceries and prepare nutritious meals. If your loved one has a doctor’s appointment, we’ll provide safe transportation.
Assisting Hands Home Care service providers undergo a background check and are licensed, bonded, and insured to give families maximum peace of mind. Our caregivers are trained in CPR and first aid. Our experience in senior care ensures that we respond to emergencies skillfully and quickly.
Choose Assisting Hands Home Care when your elderly loved one in Boynton Beach, Jupiter, Palm Beach Gardens, North Palm Beach, Royal Palm Beach, or Wellington FL, would benefit from dependable in-home support. Seniors are monitored throughout the day and receive essential companionship. Call us at (561) 781-5885 today to schedule an in-home consultation and start top-rated senior care.