Currently, elder people need special care and they are at the highest risk of experiencing significant health complications due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Being socially isolated it also creates panic, affects the mental and physical health of the elderly. Due to this pandemic, most elder generation is not able to go on a walk, exercise and have limited access to their daily healthcare needs. Though the lockdown is necessary, it is essential for older adults to feel connected in order to avoid depression or helplessness. Loneliness, anxiety and uncertainty give increase chronic stress, depression and insomnia in older people.
How Can We Help Elder generation In Our Neighborhood?
- During this pandemic time, it becomes important to help elders in our neighbourhood, especially the ones living alone. Here, I’ll be sharing some tips which families and caregivers can use to keep elders disease-free, mentally fit and happy.
- If you have parents or grandparents living away from you, give them a call to provide them with regular emotional support.
- Ensure that the needs of elder generation and essential requirements like medicines, fruits, food, etc. are taken care of.
- Take additional efforts to check and confirm that they maintain proper hand hygiene.
- Elder generation is more sensitive to the current infection. To safeguard them, it’s better for them to avoid stepping out for any reason as much as possible.
- If routine check-ups can be done via phone consultation, please do so. Go to the hospital only when it’s required.
- Guide and educate the elders in your area with the latest updates, precautionary measures, etc. Keep them informed!
- Provide extra care if needed as some of them are on multiple medications due to chronic illnesses and sensory problems such as loss or difficulty in vision, hearing, etc.
- Before self-medication with any drug, please consult a doctor.
- Family members need to be sensitive to the early symptoms of COVID-19 and if needed, should get tested. This, however, should not give rise to panic or self-isolation.
- Psycho-social issues are vital and families need to be sensitive to them. It is natural to be stressed, but signs of excessive panic, depression, sleep problems need urgent attention from a qualified mental health professional.
- The elder generation needs to be involved in decision making even in times of crisis. Their rights, self-respect and dignity must be preserved and protected.
By. Vivek Trivedi
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