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How the Senior Community in Singapore Is Being Protected Against COVID-19

Wearing of masks, social distancing, endless lockdowns—these are only a few of the measures being done to prevent the surge of COVID-19. Despite having started more than a year ago, this pandemic is continuously posing a threat to global health and normalcy.   It is a known fact that Coronavirus is a deadly disease, one that has mutated into several variants. It’s easily transmissible and sometimes can even be undetected through asymptomatic carriers. However, it can be most dangerous for some types of people: those with weakened immune systems, pre-existing medical conditions or chronic illnesses, and seniors.   With the rising number of cases in various countries, how does Singapore protect its senior citizens from this disease? Read on to find out.  

A brief background on COVID-19 (and latest updates)

Coronavirus is infectious and can be a deadly disease. Most individuals who catch it will be experiencing moderate to severe symptoms like respiratory illness but will eventually recover even without any treatment. This is spread from one person to many through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose (sneezing or coughing). Unfortunately, new variants of the COVID-19 such as the Delta variant are said to be passed on even by simply being near the person who’s infected.   As the surge of the virus continues, the Multi-Ministry Taskforce in Singapore established the reversion to Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) from July 2021 to August 2021 to contain the outbreak of clusters in the community as well as to prevent the healthcare workers from becoming overwhelmed. Singapore is also ramping up its vaccination rates, especially among its senior citizens. There are also guidelines and safety protocols to follow to avoid the further spread of infection.   In relation to this, seniors who remain unvaccinated are highly encouraged to remain at home. The Ministry of Health (MOH) is concerned that seniors have a higher risk of catching the virus if they go to public places such as a wet market (where the COVID-19 clusters have been recently detected).  

How does COVID-19 spread?

There are general ways the coronavirus can spread. Listed are they as follows:  
  • Person-to-Person: Spreading infection via droplets (saliva) whenever infected people sneeze or cough. It can also be passed on if you are in close contact with someone who’s sick.
  • Indirect contamination: Direct contact isn’t the only way to catch the virus. You can also be infected by the COVID-19 by touching objects or surfaces that have been contaminated.
  • In poorly ventilated or crowded indoor settings: COVID-19 is more prevalent in areas that have poor ventilation or are crowded indoor spaces.
 

Effects of COVID-19 on the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions

Why are seniors more vulnerable to the effects of COVID-19? As people age, their overall health slowly deteriorates. It’s just how nature happens. With that said, having a weaker or frailer body gives them lesser chances of recovering fast (or even at all) from the effects of the virus. The risk is higher for people who are in their 50s, 60s, 70s, and could be a lot worse for those who are in their 80s.   A senior can be seriously ill because of the coronavirus if he or she has pre-existing medical conditions such as cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory disease, cancer, and diabetes.   What COVID-19 does is attack our respiratory system, weakening our lungs enough to the point that we are desperate for oxygen. It also creates complications for those with serious medical issues. This is why healthier people or individuals with stronger immune systems (like most young adults) are more capable of recuperating from this fatal sickness.  

How Singapore is coping with the COVID-19 pandemic

Combatting the virus is a complicated and challenging process. Countries all over the world are taking measures and implementing guidelines for people to follow to prevent the further spread of infection.   In Singapore, the MOH has been consistently working with public hospitals to expand healthcare capacity to COVID-19 patients. Wards have been converted into isolation and intensive care units dedicated to the infected. Vaccine rollouts have also been prioritized to get more people to be vaccinated and protected against the virus.   Also, certain guidelines have been implemented for the citizens to follow such as:  
    • Low Risk
      • Washing/sanitizing of hands
      • Maintaining social distancing (at least 1-meter distance)
      • Self-quarantine if the patient is asymptomatic or travelled from somewhere
  • Medium Risk
      • Use of communal areas with social distancing (indoor dine-ins, al fresco dining, outdoor sports and exercise, churches, malls, etc.)
  • High Risk
    • Avoiding mass gatherings especially at an indoor location
    • Going to public places that are at risk of close contacts (e.g. wet markets, supermarkets)
    • Exposure to non-essential volunteers
 

Red Crowns Senior Living’s COVID-19 Response for the Protection of its Elderly Residents

Every retirement home and other nursing home alternatives are aligned with the global response against Coronavirus. They are tending to the senior community, so it’s more than important for them to ensure the safety of their care recipients.   Here are the following measures that nursing home alternatives like Red Crowns is taking against the threat of COVID-19:

1. Vaccine rollout

A vaccine is so far the most effective armor against the effects of COVID-19. Red Crowns makes it a priority to have their elderly residents and care recipients get vaccinated.

2. COVID-19 Testing

COVID-19 testing is also available for those who are showing symptoms of the virus or are looking to have themselves tested for safety reasons. This is to easily detect those who are possibly infected within the community.

3. Hourly disinfection

The staff in the senior care home are tasked to conduct hourly disinfections in the whole area. All the surfaces and objects are being sanitized regularly and frequently to prevent contamination, especially if there are visitors or people from the outside coming in.

4. Limited visitors

Unfortunately, spending time with family is cut short in the meantime. There are only a limited number of visitors allowed per day to minimize the number of people entering and exiting the facility. Currently, we only allow fully-vaccinated visitors.

5. Self-isolation

If in any case one of the senior residents becomes infected, Red Crowns provides self-isolation rooms within the care facility to prevent the infection from spreading among the others. The management will also immediately get in touch with the patient’s family and make the necessary arrangements to transfer him or her to a hospital/medical facility where they can get proper treatment for COVID-19.

6. Online medical check-ups

Health is wellness, especially during these times. Red Crowns offers online medical check-ups so that its residents can monitor their health or consult with a doctor anytime they feel unwell. This way, doctors can also prescribe them medications or give recommendations on how to treat whatever ailment they have without having to go out of our senior group home.

7. Limited interactions

Social distancing is strictly implemented, even among the seniors living within the same area. The caregiving staff and care recipients limit their interaction as much as possible (except for those who are in need of mobility assistance). Our seniors are also being encouraged to stay in for their safety.

8. Provision of masks

Wearing masks is also implemented for the protection of everyone in the senior care home. These masks are provided by the facility and are to be worn at all times by both the staff and the residents.

9. Improved ventilation

Proper ventilation is extremely essential in lessening the chances of the virus thriving. Every area of the facility has improved ventilation, and windows are kept open to get the air in and out.   Red Crowns is a nursing home alternative in Singapore that provides quality care, support, and assistance to the senior community. Our facilities are located in different areas of the country (e.g. Redhill Assisted Living). For more information on our services, you may visit our website.

Get in touch with us.

Learn more about Red Crowns. You may contact us for more information about our services and locations, get a quote or to schedule a tour.
+65 9800 5297
[email protected]
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