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Dr. Franziska Giffey and Franz Müntefering appeal to all citizens to protect particularly vulnerable groups from being infected with the coronavirus. This includes the elderly and those with previous illnesses.
The coronavirus COVID-19 is particularly dangerous for the elderly and for people with previous illnesses. The risk of serious illness increases with age. When age and existing underlying diseases come together, the risk is particularly high. The protection of people is therefore particularly important in care facilities.
Federal Seniors Minister Dr. Franziska Giffey emphasized:
Older people and people with previous illnesses now need the solidarity of all generations. I welcome the fact that retirement and nursing homes are largely closed to visitors; this is the only way to protect those in need of care and their relatives in the current situation. We must also take care of the many people living at home and their families. Families in which people in need of care live and are cared for also need our support. Neighbors who easily do the shopping or run errands here are 'angels of everyday life'. If we all look out for one another, then we live solidarity in everyday life.
The chairman of the Federal Association of Senior Citizens' Organizations (BAGSO), Franz Müntefering, also appealed to older people and their relatives:
I ask all those affected, those in need of care and their relatives: Please include the instructions that the nursing homes have received. At the same time, it is important that perspectives are developed as to how encounters and exchanges in homes can soon be made possible again. It is very good when facilities and caregivers currently enable contact with families, for example via telephone or Skype.
Redesign everyday life together
Not only in professional care, but also in the everyday life of older people, everyone must now make their contribution.
Franz Müntefering emphasized:
Older people, grandparents and their families are called to protect themselves and avoid risks. Panic doesn't help, regardless of age. But we elderly and old have to act when it comes to Corona. We want to and can help reduce the risk of infection - for ourselves, for our families and for contact persons. The state has to act, and so do we as a society. Let's shake hands and hug. We avoid crowds. We're postponing meetings. Postponed is not canceled. And helping that no one remains lonely and helpless without jeopardizing people's safety, that is the order of the day. A society based on solidarity becomes very concrete and proves itself. This is good for everyone.
Dr. Franziska Giffey:
Older people, people with pre-existing conditions and their families should rethink their habits now. You should accept restrictions to protect your health. This includes withdrawing as much as possible from public life, keeping a personal distance of at least two meters, not attending leisure events, avoiding local public transport and also reducing private contacts as much as possible. Telephone, cell phone and internet help to keep in touch. Family and neighborly support offers, for example when shopping, are helpful and important.
Behavioral tips for the elderly and those at risk
- Reduce social contacts as much as possible, including with your peers, because they too can be carriers.
- Avoid direct contact with grandchildren at the moment. The grandparents should, if possible, not be involved in the care.
- Do not go to a doctor's office, call them if necessary and ask how you should behave.
- If possible, do not go to pharmacies, order the medicines you need over the phone and have them delivered or, if possible, seek help from your family or the neighborhood.
- Accept bring and delivery offers: from family and neighbors, from supermarkets.
- Maintain social contacts over the phone or, if possible, on Skype.
- Keep the number of people entering your home to a minimum.
- Take advantage of the nice weather to go for a walk. That strengthens your defense. Also keep a distance of at least two meters there when you meet friends!
Pay attention to trustworthy offers of help
Even in the current situation, vigilance against "wrong helpers" is necessary. Fraudsters especially ask the elderly for money for expensive drugs and medical treatments; alleged craftsmen claim to want to inspect and disinfect houses and apartments. The Federal Seniors' Ministry and the BAGSO therefore urgently recommend not to give money to strangers and not to let them into the apartment.
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