COVID-19 and the Ignored Elderly
COVID-19 is going strong and unfortunately, the elderly are feeling all the more isolated. The lock down means we have to stay at home, maybe even away from loved ones. And this leaves the old among us truly alone, as the virus seems to be hitting them worse than others.
Before the ongoing pandemic, the elderly would be paid frequent visits by their loving grandchildren. They would spend the whole day playing with them. Or maybe cooking their favorite meal for them. But with the lock down, it is difficult to get out of the house for crucial grocery shopping, let alone paying the aged a visit.
As aged people with compromised immune systems, the elderly have had to curtail their travels. This is because there is evidence that the aged might be more prone to COVID-19. So if their relatives aren’t visiting them, they can’t go out to visit either.
It’s really a vicious circle.
However, there are ways to take care of the elderly around us. They need this care a great deal more than we do.
Keep the elderly in the know.
In this case, ignorance is not bliss. The aged need to know the seriousness of the condition. No, there is no need to keep them addicted to a news channel. This is a bad idea when tackling issues like depression during the COVID-19! In fact, this is not a good idea for the young either. But do make them aware of the dangers and the risks involved with the virus.
Does your grandfather need to speak to his favorite granddaughter? Maybe he needs to speak to you because the long distance is getting to be too much for him. Whatever the reason, encourage the elderly to make good use of phones and tablets to stay in touch. Everything is just a tap away these days. In the process, you could teach them how to use the phone. What a way to bond!
Encourage physical isolation, but not social isolation.
Sure, we have to stay away from each other. But we need to emphasize on physical distance. There is no need to stay in your room all day without giving your friends or family so much as a phone call. Doing so may lower their immunity further – that’s what we’re trying to avoid in the first place!
Take care of yourself too.
If you’re looking after an elderly person, you need to be well. In airplanes, the advice is to make sure your mask is on before helping others. By that same logic, you need to be healthy! Wash your hands throughout the day, cough or sneeze into a tissue or your elbow, and remember, sanitizer is your best friend!
The elderly only require a little more attention from us all. Especially during these disturbing times. If you have an aged person around you, be sure to make them smile at least a few times each day. They need you more than your college or work friends do.
Afsah Khalid Hashmi is researcher. Currently, doing Masters in Economics from Institute of Business Administration, (IBA) Karachi. She is freelance writer and blogger for social, and economic affairs.