Community Blog

Is it Coronavirus or Something Else?

By Ketan Shah

As your senior’s caregiver, you’re there for her no matter what is going on. During the coronavirus pandemic, even the smallest cough can feel like something bigger. Here’s how you and she can tell the difference between COVID-19 and something else.

There’s a Lot Happening Right Now

There’s a coronavirus pandemic happening, but it’s also allergy season as well as the tail end of cold and flu season. People find themselves sneezing or coughing and worrying that it means something bigger. The first thing to do is to remember that there are all sorts of other possible causes for coughs and sneezes right now. It’s important to stick with the facts.

Know the Symptoms and Keep an Eye on Them

The symptoms of COVID-19 are cough, a fever, and shortness of breath. Those symptoms tend to be mild initially but may become more severe as the illness progresses. Someone with COVID-19 could develop more severe shortness of breath, chest pain, pneumonia, and a higher fever. Your senior’s doctor may ask you to keep an eye on her symptoms and call back if those become worse. If your senior is experiencing a cough and sneezing without a fever, she may be dealing with something completely different.

Wash Hands, Practice Social Distancing, and Do All the Right Things

In the meantime, your senior needs to be washing her hands often throughout the day. Regular soap is plenty for hand washing and your senior needs to make sure she washes her hands for at least twenty seconds. She also needs to be practicing strict social distancing, which means leaving at least six feet of space between herself and other people. If she’s going out into public, she should wear a mask, especially if she’s coughing or sneezing herself.

Avoid Panicking or Jumping to Conclusions

The worst thing you or your senior could do is to jump to conclusions. Panicking isn’t going to help anything if your senior starts to feel sick. If she feels like she normally does during an allergy attack or when she has a cold, that may be all that it is. Pay close attention to her symptoms, take her temperature regularly, and talk to her doctor. Her doctor will let you know when symptoms mean your senior needs more help.

You and your senior need to be aware of how she’s feeling and whether she’s experiencing any symptoms of illness, whether they’re attributable to the coronavirus or to another illness entirely.

If you are considering hiring home care in Los Gatos, CA for an aging loved one, please contact the caring staff at Home Helpers today (408) 259-5930.