As research continues into the development of vaccines for COVID-19, scientists are uncovering more and more information about the virus.
Recently, the CDC recognized that COVID-19 symptoms may appear differently in seniors (older adults aged 65 and up). While seniors can still exhibit the common symptoms of the virus, it is also likely that they exhibit different or unusual symptoms as well.
It’s important that seniors and caregivers stay up-to-date on the latest news and tips, as well as continue to follow the CDC guidelines for a healthier, safer summer.
Common Symptoms of COVID-19
With the virus’ rapid rate of spread, it’s smart to stay constantly aware of possible symptoms. Unfortunately, there is still no one-size-fits-all for the virus, which means that it can affect different people in all sorts of ways.
However, the most common cycle for the virus seems to be an incubation period of about 2-14 days after first exposure, along with exhibiting symptoms during that time frame.
Regardless of age, some common COVID-19 symptoms include:
- Headaches and body aches
- Difficulty breathing
- Loss of taste and/or smell
Symptoms may appear mildly or severely.
(For a more comprehensive list of symptoms, please take a look at the CDC’s official list of COVID-19 symptoms.)
COVID-19 Symptoms in Seniors
While there seems to be certain common symptoms that point toward COVID-19, the CDC also states that symptoms may appear differently in older adults.
This is in part due to seniors’ weaker immune systems and pre-existing medical conditions. Many seniors have compromised immune systems, and as a result their bodies do not react the same to virus invasions.
A good example of this is with the symptom of fever.
Fever is an extremely common symptom among younger adults because it is the body’s natural reaction to an invading virus. However, older adults may not have the ability to regulate body temperature well and therefore may not exhibit a fever or may even show a lower (rather than higher) temperature than usual.
With this in mind, it’s crucial to pay attention to the overall health and general feeling of your senior’s wellbeing. If anything seems out of the ordinary or unusual, keep a close eye on the situation.
Reducing Risk of COVID-19 in Seniors
It is possible to be a carrier for the virus without showing any symptoms, especially in the early days of incubation. This makes it extremely likely to come into contact with COVID-19 carriers, without either party even knowing of the danger.
For this reason, it is highly recommended that older adults stay home as much as possible and self-isolate.
Seniors should continue to socialize with friends and family, but over video chat and phone calls.
If seniors do find themselves in need of going out of the house, it is important that they keep certain precautions in mind.
Seniors who are going out should try their best to:
- Not touch their eyes or mouth
- Not touch public/communal surfaces
- Wear a mask
- Wash their hands often and thoroughly
- Stay 6 feet away from others
- Keep interactions with others to a limited amount of time
- Encourage outdoor meetings (rather than indoors)
If you or your senior think you might have contracted COVID-19 use the CDC’s symptom self-check and call your doctor immediately.