As India fights to stay afloat amidst the COVID 19 lockdown, the elderly are struggling to simply survive. Senior citizens have been the worst hit, as they are the most vulnerable especially those above 80 years of age who are at a high risk of succumbing to COVID 19. As per CDC, it is as high as 14.8%. For those above 70 years it is 8%. In India, government has been pro-active in taking a number of steps. Despite this, there is so much still be done, as our numbers are huge.
Old age foundation is reaching out to the elders, homeless and migrant workers who are facing their toughest time right now. In our first phase of work before the lockdown even started, was Awareness about Covid 19, both in urban & rural areas, through our Healthcare Units.
Old age foundation is connected with a wide network of Senior Citizens Associations in cities, our teams have been calling and reaching out to elders and giving them vital information about the Pandemic, Health Advisories of the Do’s & Don’ts, shared emergency numbers, and details of hospitals with Isolation wards etc. As elders are the most vulnerable, they are bound to have high anxiety levels. The aim was also to let them know, that they are not alone.
Post lockdown, many elders are feeling isolated and are susceptible to depression, especially those living alone. Simple pleasures like morning walks, going to the market or visiting their grandchildren are now curtailed. With most elders, their part time daily help are also no longer coming into their homes, adding to both physical and mental strain on them. It is therefore, very important that we be connected with them whether through WhatsApp, phone etc. During the lockdown we are urging youngsters to spend time with their grandparents or elderly parents at home, and make them digitally literate. This will not only help an elder become independent in the long run, it will also help relieve loneliness and mental stress they might be going through. So much can be done behind locked doors in a positive way. The aim is to Show them that You Care.
Meanwhile our teams on ground are working hard during the lockdown, reaching out to the disadvantaged elders, the homeless, migrant workers and poor living urban slums & villages, providing them with the following:
Free Medicines and Healthcare – in many states our Mobile Healthcare teams are reaching out to elder beneficiaries suffering from chronic ailments and delivering them their much needed medications, through home visits and within their community. In some areas our MHU’s, is operating as an ambulance as per the request of district officers and authorities and using patients to transport to hospitals for their treatments and checkups.
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