Family caregivers may be confused about whether or not they should be wearing a mask because of the coronavirus pandemic. Part of the confusion may be because when the virus initially arrived in the United States, experts were asking people not to wear masks.
This was because individuals outside the healthcare field were purchasing masks and creating a shortage for doctors, nurses, and other providers. Recently, though, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended that people wear masks. So, should family caregivers be wearing masks and, if so, when?
How the Virus is Spread
First, it’s important for family caregivers to understand how the virus is spread. This can help you to determine when it’s necessary to wear a mask.
Coronavirus is primarily spread from one person to the next when they are near one another, within about 6 feet. When a person coughs or sneezes, the virus travels on the respiratory droplets they emit. Experts believe this can even happen simply when an infected person talks. It appears that the virus can even be spread by people who are carrying it but don’t have any symptoms.
When Should Masks Be Worn?
The CDC recommends that people wear a mask or face covering whenever they are out in public. The masks can help to slow the spread of the virus by preventing droplets from an infected person from getting into the air and landing on the face of another individual where they can enter the body.
It is especially important to wear a mask when you will be in a place where it’s hard to avoid other people, such as in the grocery store. However, even when wearing a mask, people should try to maintain a distance of at least 6 feet.
Whether or not family caregivers should wear masks around their older family members really depends on their individual circumstances. For example, if the older adult lives in the same house as the family caregiver, a mask probably isn’t necessary.
What Kind of Mask Should You Use?
Family caregivers can simply wear a cloth mask when going out in public. You can purchase a mask online or make one from the items you have in your home. The CDC offers directions on their website for making a simple mask. Even a mask made from a bandana and some hair ties will help to stop the spread of the virus.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Elder Care in Opelika, AL, please contact the caring staff at Prime Home Health today. Caring for Our Friends and Neighbors in Tallapoosa, Chambers, Lee, Macon, and Russell Counties! Call us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! 334.745.7966