Covid-19: Elderly People Need More Love And Care During Pandemic - Eastern Mirror
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Covid-19: Elderly people need more love and care during pandemic

By Esther Verma Updated: Apr 09, 2020 2:29 am
Elderly people
One Stop Centre official helps an elderly person use face mask in Longleng.

Esther Verma
Dimapur, April 7 (EMN):
Anybody can be infected by the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) but older people face significant risks of developing severe illnesses if they contract the disease due to physiological changes that come with ageing and potential underlying health conditions, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). It also revealed that 95% of deaths due to Covid-19 have occurred to those older than 60 years, and more than 50% of all fatalities involved are people aged 80 years or older.

This trend has brought to the fore the importance of taking special care of elderly people, both mentally and physically, during this health crisis. Caretakers also need to find ways to keep them socially connected while maintaining social distancing during this lockdown period.

The department of Health and Family Welfare has informed that out of 61 persons (as on April 7) tested for Covid-19 in Nagaland, 11 were above the age of 50 and the majority of tested persons were aged between 25 and 49. The results of those tested have returned negative till date.

Speaking to Eastern Mirror, Kohima Old Age Home’s founder and managing director Neithonuo Liegise shared that the centre has not faced any issue during the nationwide lockdown.

“Even though there is total restriction of visitors, we keep the residents busy and find ways to keep them occupied by involving them in gardening, taking care of pets and having special fellowship together every noon and evening,” she informed.

Liegise said that the residents at her old age home find it difficult to wear face masks but other precautionary measures have been thoroughly taken care of. “We use sanitisers all the time; food is nutritious and only serve hot drinking water,” she shared.

The old age home, which has 24 residents aged between 60-90 years, also has a nurse who visits the home to give routine checkups to the inmates, those needing further treatment are taken to the hospital.

“We sensitise them on the coronavirus, not by scaring them but by creating awareness and helping them understand the reality,” maintained Liegise, added that all government orders are being followed as well.

O N Meren Jamir, an 80-year-old retired government employee in the education sector from Dimapur, said that he has not faced any problem so far; even before the pandemic, he was living a healthy lifestyle so there was nothing much to change during the lockdown.

 “God has given me good health; I feel great and I feel so happy to be in lockdown at home as I get to do many other things that I thought I wouldn’t enjoy,” Jamir said, adding that he now loves gardening and is growing his own vegetables. 

“I occasionally exercise but since I am active most of the time, the need hardly arises to exercise,” he added.

However, Jamir said that seeing schoolchildren missing their classes was a sad aspect of the lockdown.

“Children are the future leaders and are being deprived because of the pandemic especially in India; other countries resort to home schooling via technology,” maintained Jamir.

Jamir’s son, when asked about his biggest challenge at home during this trying time, said that no matter how active or restless one may be, the best thing one can do for everyone and oneself is to stay put at home.

“It is sad to see them bored at home, so I try to come up with new projects at home like gardening, cooking something new or even having a small picnic in our backyard,” he said, reiterating that it not only keeps one healthy but also helps create a strong bond in their relationships.

“Everyone should try small projects at home with their parents and I can assure that they will come out of this quarantine, having better relationships with their parents,” he added.

According to a doctor, who also spoke to this newspaper, people all age groups die of Covid-19 and fatality  depends on co-morbid conditions as well. If a person’s immunity is compromised, then a person is at higher risk of getting infected by any virus.

There are also many incidences of newborn babies being infected by the coronavirus, but reports say that the disease does not develop to a stage that requires respiratory attention in children below 9 years of age.

“People who are above 60 must stay indoors and everyone in the household should practice basic hygiene at all times; the infection does not have specific age groups,” said the doctor.

It may also be mentioned that there are people aged above 100 who had recovered from Covid-19. This, according to WHO, is because those elderly people lived a healthy lifestyle before the pandemic began.

By Esther Verma Updated: Apr 09, 2020 2:29:57 am
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