​Caring for the elderly during COVID 19

An older adult is someone who falls under the category of age of 60+ years and above. Older people are at higher risk for developing fear and anxiety about the COVID-19 pandemic. Coping with the stress and fear will make you, your family and loved ones strong and resilient. ​

High risk factors

Older people are highly susceptible to develop COVID – 19 due to the following factors:

  • Decreased/low immunity in older age.

  • Presence of preexisting medical conditions like hypertension, diabetes, heart and lung disease, cancer, smoking 
    and mental illnesses.

  • Improper intake of nutritious and a ​balanced diet.

  • Intentionally or unintentionally updating self (reading, watching, listening, discussing) with excessive information about the coronavirus pandemic. 

  • Persistent apprehension and fear about own and family’s health​.

Tips to stay healthy

Our body and mind are interconnected that is why it is important to take care of physical as well as mental health. In order to manage the situation, it is essential to follow the tips to stay physically and mentally fit​.

  • Take breaks from continuously watching, reading or listening to news about COVID 19.

  • Limit updates to one or two updates per day. 

  • Get updates from trusted, authentic sources only.

  • Get at least 8 hours of sleep every day and follow consistent sleeping timings. ​

  • Avoid taking tea of coffee 4-6 hours before sleeping.

  • Stop using phones, computers or any electronic gadget at least two hours before sleeping.

  • Try to exercise for at least half an hour daily.

  • Eat a healthy diet. Increase the intake of fruits and vegetables and decrease sugary and fried food.

  • Take your usual prescribed medications on time.

  • Spend your time in positive and constructive activities like solving puzzles, playing with grandchildren, reading or art.

  • Connect with loved ones and talk about anything other than the pandemic.

  • Avoid topics of discussion that lead to conflict.

  • Reminisce happy memories by looking at old photos, videos, trophies.

  • Limit visitors to one or two people at a time. Ask everyone to wash their hands and maintain a distance of six feet. 

  • It is normal to develop stress, fear and anxiety during this time. Take deep breaths and try to keep yourself busy. Call or visit your healthcare provider if stress and fear persists for several days and affects your daily activities. ​

Take all COVID 19 precautions​ if any family member, neighbour or friend is sick and require your assistance.

References: World Health Organisation, Yale University and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. ​