Reasons to maintain social distance from elderly people in this pandemic situation
COVID-19 and its ensuing pandemic have dramatically shifted the way we interact with one another. While modern medicine grapples with finding a vaccine, one of the surest ways of reducing or spreading the risk of COVID-19 is social distancing. Many cities and countries around the world have even called for a strict period of self-isolation to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, and it looks like social distancing will be around for a while.
How Does Covid-19 Affect The Elderly?
Although we are all vulnerable to the coronavirus, the population that is at highest risk are senior citizens - those above 65 years of age. As we age, our immune systems get weaker, thus making senior citizens more susceptible to catching even common sicknesses like colds or the flu. Senior citizens constitute 6% of our total population, as per the 2019 State of World Population report by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), thus making social distancing a must in India, particularly for our elderly.
Why Is Social Distancing Necessary For Seniors?
Like most communicable diseases, the novel coronavirus, too, is passed through direct contact with others. The virus and germs are carried through the air - in water droplets, a sneeze or cough, etc - or can also be passed through direct physical contact. The virus also lives on shared surfaces like door handles, furniture, stair bannisters and so on. Furthermore, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has stated that the virus is particularly devastating for senior citizens with the following health conditions:
Chronic Kidney Disease
Chronic Lung Disease
Age and a compromised immune system, thus, make practising social distancing a must for the elderly in India. However, it is not the ultimate solution as even social distancing comes with its own set of challenges.
Problems Caused by Social Distancing
In past centuries, social distancing was employed to combat like-threatening diseases like leprosy and the bubonic plague. Human beings, however, being social creatures, can be adversely affected by this preventative measure and can develop some harmful emotional and mental problems like:
Anxiety and depression
Lack of motivation
Not exercising enough
Poor eating habits
In India particularly, with rampant migration of workers from smaller towns and villages leave a considerable majority of senior citizens living by themselves. With social distancing being mandatory, this could lead many elders to struggle with restricted mobility and lack of financial security.
Eldercare In Times Of A Pandemic
Depending on the mental and physical well-being of your senior, your role as a caregiver may range from providing them with support for day-to-day activities, managing their finances, meal preparation, transportation or just companionship. However, helping a senior loved one live a full and happy life during the pandemic while you’re away or busy can prove challenging. For unparalleled eldercare services at home, you can reach out to us at Radiant Home Health Services.
Our well-trained caregivers are adept at not only caring for your loved ones but can also keep them safely engaged and living comfortably during these uncertain times. For more information about our services, be sure to call us or visit our website today!