Measures continue to be taken rapidly for the Corona Virus (Covid-19), which has become an epidemic all over the world. Calling not to go to crowded areas, the authorities limited the working hours of shopping centers a few days ago. In addition, he announced that shops such as cafes, coffee houses and restaurants were closed. Finally, it was added to the decisions taken to prevent the spread of the epidemic that individuals over the age of 65 were restricted from going out.
We make statements about the anxiety and stress that have existed since the epidemic emerged in our country, and we talk about the need to pay attention to hygiene and social isolation. We support each other with the hashtag #EvdeKal. We share the books we read and challenge each other. We share information that meditation, exercise at home, and not being exposed to the news too much have an effect on reducing anxiety.
However, I see the lack of sharing information about the elderly individuals who are determined as the risk group.
Since the first day, news of cases and deaths on social media and news that the elderly constitute a risk group have seriously increased the anxiety/anxiety and fear levels of the elderly. As a result, elderly individuals experience a state of extreme panic. Negative news about elderly people in the news constantly affects their moods seriously.
So how do we support the spiritual/mental health of our elderly individuals? Here are a few suggestions:
Giving the elderly people information about the epidemic by other members of the household, children, grandchildren or people whose words they trust may be healthy for them to take the situation seriously. It is important to explain the situation well.
After stating that they are not allowed to go out, emphasizing that “the authorities are thinking about their health” can help reduce their anxiety. Being thought of by others can be gratifying for older individuals.
It is very important to set an example for older people. “You don’t go out on the street, but we’re going to sit next to the neighbor. ‘ will be worrying for them. At this point, while it is important that not only the elderly but also all age groups are in social isolation, it is worth noting that we live in isolation like them and have the same conditions as them.
One of the most important points is to put them at ease by stating that we are only far away from them, that we never want to leave them alone, and that this is a temporary process. Older individuals may think that their children and grandchildren do not want to see them. Being alone can create fear for them. Therefore, contacting them frequently by phone, talking about how they are and what they are doing during the day will give them the message that “we are actually with you”.
We hear sentences like “I’m 69 years old, what will happen if I live from now on?” or “The virus won’t do anything to me.” Not being anxious at all is as harmful as being overly anxious about the pandemic.
Knowing that their shopping and food needs will be met by other family members will reduce their anxiety about nutrition. It will be our civic duty to say that the municipalities will support them or help them for the elderly people who have no one.
It is of great importance to mentally support the elderly individuals, the risk group most affected by the global epidemic we are in, in order to get through this process in a healthy way. At this point, empathizing, putting ourselves in their shoes will enable us to understand them.
I believe that together we will overcome the epidemic.