Helping Older Parents in the Age of COVID-19 -- By Sharon Burch

Older adults are at greater risk of requiring hospitalization or dying if they are diagnosed with COVID-19. In general, people ages 60 years and older are at higher risk for severe illness than people in their 40s, 50s, and younger. The greatest risk for severe illness from COVID-19 is among those aged 85 or older.

Other factors can also increase a person’s risk for severe illness, such as having certain underlying medical conditions. Adults of any age with the following conditions are at increased risk of severe illness from the virus that causes COVID-19:

  • Cancer

  • Chronic kidney disease

  • COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)

  • Heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies

  • Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant

  • Obesity and severe obesity

  • Pregnancy