Norovirus is on the rise: here’s how to protect your elderly loved ones from Norovirus as cases in over 65’s surge.
As the winter season continues Norovirus cases are on the rise across the UK – especially in those 65 and over.
In the last few weeks, the number of Norovirus cases have surged by 66% compared to previous years, according to National Health Surveillance Data.
“Norovirus (also known as the ‘winter vomiting bug’) is a stomach bug that can cause vomiting and diarrhoea. The virus is spread easily through contaminated food and close contact with others – it is often more prominent in the winter months as we generally spend more time indoors”, shares Will Donnelly, Care Expert and Co-Founder at Lottie.
“The elderly and those more vulnerable are at greater risk of experiencing Norovirus – especially those living with dementia. Whilst the virus usually passes within a few days older adults are at greater risk of experiencing complications such as dehydration and fatigue.
So, it’s important to be aware of the signs, symptoms, and ways to protect yourself and your elderly loved ones from Norovirus, as cases continue to rise,” concludes Donnelly.
New Research From Lottie Has Found A Surge In People Turning Online For Norovirus Support And Advice:
● 300% increase in online searches for ‘Norovirus disease’
● 300% increase in online searches for ‘post Norovirus symptoms’
● 150% increase in online searches for ‘Norovirus complications elderly’
● 57% increase in online searches for ‘Norovirus elderly’
Here’s How To Protect Yourself And Your Elderly Loved Ones From Norovirus This Winter, According To Lottie’s Will Donnelly:
1. Keep your loved one hydrated
Vomiting and diarrhoea are common symptoms of Norovirus – as a result, dehydration is a common challenge for older people, especially for those with dementia. They may not recognise the signs they need to drink more or be able to communicate their needs easily.
Make sure your loved one has regular drinks within easy reach to replenish their fluids. For instance, place a jug of fresh, cold water in every room and in the places, they spent most of their time, including next to their favourite chair.
Fruit and vegetables are also great sources of water, including cucumber, tomatoes, melon, and oranges and can help to keep your loved ones hydrated.
2. Make sure your loved one is well rested
Norovirus can increase exhaustion and fatigue – make sure your loved one is getting plenty of rest if they are experiencing any symptoms of the virus.
Try to avoid any strenuous activities during the day and allow your loved one to take regular breaks throughout the day to relax. If your loved one is living with dementia, try to avoid them taking a nap later in the day and any naps in the evening – this can disrupt your loved ones sleeping pattern making it harder for them to fall asleep at night.
3. Help your loved to be as comfortable as possible
Headache, cramps, and muscle pains can be symptoms of norovirus. If your loved one is experiencing any of these symptoms, you can offer them painkillers to help them feel more comfortable; as well as keeping them well hydrated and rested.
Try to make sure your loved one is as comfortable as they can be. For example, propping them up with pillows and their temperature is at a reasonable level (around 37.5 degrees) this will help them to relax and recover.
4. Practise good hygiene
Norovirus is highly contagious and can be spread through close contact with those infected with the virus, so it’s important to keep up good hygiene practices to protect yourself or a loved one from contracting or spreading the virus.
Washing your hands regularly and using sanitises, disinfecting surfaces and tables and washing fruit and vegetables before eating them are all examples of good hygiene practices and can help prevent the spread of Norovirus.