Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended that people wear a mask whenever they go out in public. Since older adults are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 and may suffer more serious complications from it, it’s especially important that they follow the CDC’s recommendations.

General Guidelines for Masks

First, the CDC asks that the general public not wear masks worn by healthcare workers, such as surgical masks or N-95 respirators. There is a shortage of these supplies and they are necessary for healthcare workers to stay safe since they are more likely to come into contact with people carrying the virus. Instead, your older family member should wear a cloth mask.

Some tips for using cloth masks are:

  • The mask should be snug, but also comfortable. If the mask is uncomfortable, your aging relative is less likely to wear it.
  • Secure the mask using elastic or ties.
  • Masks should have several layers.
  • Your older family member should be able to breathe comfortably.
  • Masks should be able to machine washed and dried without causing them damage or resulting in a change of shape.

Washing a Face Mask

The CDC states that cloth face coverings should be washed regularly. Family caregivers may wish to wash the senior’s mask after each use, so having a couple of them on hand is a good idea. It’s not necessary to take any special steps to clean the mask. Instead, using a washing machine and dryer will work just fine.

Safely Removing a Used Mask

It might seem like a simple thing to remove a cloth mask, but it’s important to keep a few things in mind. When removing the mask, seniors should avoid touching their eyes, nose, or mouth. After taking off the mask, caregivers should remind the older adult to wash their hands thoroughly.

Where to Get a Mask

You may be able to purchase a fabric mask online. Many people are sewing them and offering them for sale through websites like Etsy. There is also no shortage of instructions for making masks at home. Caregivers who have basic sewing skills can make a mask for their older family member with a small amount of cloth, thread, and a sewing machine. In fact, you can find instructions on the CDC website.

For caregivers who do not sew, the CDC also offers instructions for making a no-sew mask using a bandana, some hair ties, and a pair of scissors.

If you or an aging loved-one is considering home care in Modesto, CA, please contact the caring staff at Provident Care Home Care today at (209) 578-1210.