Mr Cheung is 71 years old and suffers from several chronic conditions, including hypertension, diabetes and coronary heart disease. He is a service recipient of the Hong Kong Red Cross (HKRC)’“Home-based Chronic Disease Management Service for the Elderly” and needs to visit the hospital regularly for medical check-ups. Although they had only a few masks left at home, his wife, Mrs Cheung, insisted that he needed to wear two masks at a time when visiting the hospital so as to reduce the risk of being infected. Having learned about their situation, HKRC volunteers taught the Cheungs the correct way of wearing masks, and Mrs Cheung finally came to understand that wearing two masks actually had no difference in preventing disease.
Mr Cheung likes going to a nearby fast-food shop for lunch regularly. But, since the outbreak began, Mrs Cheung started worrying that her husband’s dining habits might increase their risk of being infected. Now, she prefers to cook at home every day. Given their shortage of masks, Mr Cheung started using one mask for two days before discarding it – a practice that is not recommended. He was extremely happy and relieved when he received his infection control kit from HKRC volunteers, saying that the disinfectant wet wipes and surgical masks are very useful.
The staff and volunteers of the HKRC understand that most elderly people rarely use alcohol-based hand sanitizers, so on their visits they teach the elderly the correct way to use these sanitizers. Our staff and volunteers were pleased to see that Mr and Mrs Cheung paid close attention and learned essential hand-washing facts.
As long as the outbreak endures, Mr Cheung will only go to the market to buy groceries every three days so as to reduce his time going outside. Other volunteers, who used to visit him regularly, have suspended their services due to the severity of the outbreak, and this made him feel depressed. But when HKRC staff and volunteers came to the door, he was overwhelmed with emotion, telling them “thank you” again and again. He was grateful, not only for the infection control materials we provided but also for our care and concern.
During this difficult period, if we support and help each other by sharing materials and disease prevention knowledge with those in need, the overall effectiveness of infection control measures in the wider community will only increase.
About "Home-based Chronic Disease Management Service for the Elderly"
The HKRC’s “Home-based Chronic Disease Management Service for the Elderly”(CDME) provides "door-to-door" service, staff and health professional assess the health condition of the elderly and develop treatment plans for volunteers to follow afterwards, to help the elders prevent further deterioration of health condition resulted from mismanagement of chronic illness.
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