In Depth: Coronavirus and its impact on senior citizens

SEGMENT A: Coronavirus: An LA County Supervisor’s Perspective

L.A. County Supervisor Kathryn Barger tells us about her role in managing the Coronavirus crisis. Barger says there are a lot of moving parts because the situation changes day by day, she says there are a number of parties she deals with every day including the sheriff, and Supervisor Hilda Solis in order to manage all the challenges. She says she didn’t expect to be dealing with something like this when she ran for office, but she’s doing what she needs to do.

Barger tells seniors that they are doing what they need to do by isolating themselves and thanks them by being responsible and leading by example. She says the self-quarantine is a strong recommendation and she doesn’t want to mandate it, but it’s what must be done to keep people from winding up in emergency rooms and ICU’s.

For those seniors or health challenged individuals, Barger says there are services available. She suggests that anyone in need of services go to the website to find out the latest resources available or call 211.

Barger says it is inevitable that the number of cases of coronavirus will go up as more testing is done, but that people shouldn’t panic as they see the number of cases go up, but that they continue to stay in if they don’t have a critical need to be out.
SEGMENT B: Coronavirus: Dr. Drew

Hal and Dr. Drew talk about minimizing panic in the wake of this crisis. They also discuss Hal’s situation as he remote reports from home. Drew tells us that the fatalities from the disease go up dramatically as people get older.

He says one categorically should make sure you don’t get exposed. He does say that you can walk, exercise, and even socialize very carefully. He says interacting with family members is a decision that has to be made with each family.

He says the risk of depression from isolation is high, so seniors should make sure to exercise, sleep well, and spend time- even remotely, with the people they love. Dr. Drew says there are a number of resources for homebound seniors, from physical therapy to visiting nurses to physical therapy, which are all things a doctor can help get access to for his or her patients. The doctor recommends going for walks, as long as you are not around other people, or do exercise programs online.
 SEGMENT C: Coronavirus and Assisted Living centers

Eldercare Advisor Andrea Daniels joins Hal to talk about how assisted living centers are the best place to be right now.  She says that the centers are locked down and keeping people away who might be infectious.

Daniels also says that those centers have supplies that they are mandated to have all along, so that if they become necessary due to infection, they’ll be available much more quickly. She says people in assisted living centers are the lucky ones, because they are much less vulnerable to isolation and loneliness.

Hal and Daniels discuss the measures being taken to protect seniors against the virus. Daniels recommends that if it is possible to postpone such things as physical therapy that it might be wise to do so. Daniels’ most important advice to homebound seniors is to “stay connected.”