Help Foundation

Care for Elderly people during this corona virus pandemic

As the COVID-19 cases continue to spread around the world, the physical and psycho-social health of elderly people warrants urgent attention, now more than ever before. The elderly are at a big risk of all these vulnerabilities together. The WHO has updated the data and precautions for the geriatric during COVID-19. The elder people might be vulnerable and frail due to their age, but they are not weak. Now the ongoing Covid-19 crisis and also lockdown related rules and restrictions have forced most of the older persons to live in isolation, with life of the 69% of them affected during the current situation. According to the online survey which was conducted during the first two weeks of June, over 5000 elderly people in different parts of the country. Based on that reports, 71% elderly respondents said that cases of elder people have increased during the lockdown period. Among them 58% claimed that interpersonal relationships was the main reason which is responsible for fast spread of virus to elders in families. The old people will find it very difficult to adjust themselves in the fast changing modern world. This causes a lot of worry in our lives and younger generations do not try to value their elderly members. They term their elderly people as conservative and also consider them as burden on their life. It has observed that due to the corona virus a negative atmosphere has been created around the older persons, who were termed as soft target of corona virus. Today even the younger family members hesitate to come close to their own elderly family members. Older persons are not only even facing social restrictions but also the family restrictions, imposed by their own respective families. Elderly people suffering from medical problems are not able to visit their doctors. They are not able to meet and share their worries with their friends or relatives. All this has made life of elderly people more critical and it is also affecting their health. Now the most of the elderly people are going through a very bad phase in their life. In the view of corona virus threat, affected elderly people need to be assured of all possible help and support. Their children and family members need to be sensitized about needs and rights of their elderly family members. According to the World Health Organization “older age and underlying conditions increase the risk of severe infection”. There are more than 106 million elders in the country and among them 53 million are very poor. Financial stability is not the only the problem that the elderly faces today, due to the lack of employment opportunities in the rural and urban areas, many people have migrated to the other cities for work, thus leaving their elderly parents at their home, and because of the lockdown, these elders have no one to take care of them and are mostly depends on their neighbours and others for support. As India fights the corona virus pandemic, the economic costs of lockdown could be catastrophic, especially on the millions of poor people. According to recent analysis by the United Nations University, 104 million people in country could fall below poverty line. The World Health Organization and Centre for Disease Control and Prevention has shared the information about the precautions to be taken for the elderly people during the corona virus pandemic. Practicing the social distancing is very important; however it does become difficult for the elderly people, especially the ones that are living alone. Loneliness among the elderly can often lead to depression and anxiety.