Post Covid-19 phenomenon - 90% elderly have lost hope for a better tomorrow!
Covid-19 phenomenon has changed the attitude of more than 90% elderly and among them 92.1% elderly reportedly said post-Covid-19 threat, they are not optimistic towards the future or are now uncertain about the future, according to a latest survey conducted by Agewell Foundation.
The Survey revealed that Covid-19 has devastated the lives of many and left longer lasting effects on the health of people, particularly, the older people (60+). Covid-19 pandemic has imposed many challenges before older people, from social isolation, financial penury, psychological issues to elder abuse and neglect.
Agewell Foundation has conducted a survey among older persons spread across Delhi-NCR with the objective to assess their current living conditions and impact of Covid-19 phenomenon on their life. Under the survey Agewell volunteers interacted with 1500 elderly during the month of July 2021.
It was found that a large number of older persons have also suffered due to many ills of Covid-19 situation such as unemployment, paralyzed healthcare system, almost non-functional education system, derailed transport system, loss of business & industry, restrictions on social, religious & cultural freedom. It has not only affected day-to-day life of older persons but also affected their quality of life adversely.
Healthcare issues were termed as most critical issues by 28.9% of the elderly while 24.2% elderly said that they find psychosocial conditions more critical while 22.7% claimed that social issues were critical for them and 21.7% respondents found financial problems more critical during this situation.
Commenting on the findings, HimanshuRath, Chairman, Agewell Foundation said, "Unprecedented Covid-19 has created a void among older persons. Each one of them has invested their lifetime for a better tomorrow and now suddenly it seems that there is no tomorrow. Since there is no respite yet, older persons need constant assurance of support, help and all kinds of assistance in case of need. "
According to the Survey, most disturbing Impact of increased Unemployment / Joblessness was increased dependence on others as per the 28.7% elderly respondents. While 15.6% said that due to this they were unable to get proper treatment / regular medicines. 18.4% said that their grand-children's education suffered due to joblessness in the market. While 12.6% respondents reportedly claimed that they had to terminate/postpone their critical medical checkups.
In the current situation, 97.3% elderly admitted that their major concern is looking after the health condition of self/spouse.
Agewell Foundation Recommends
· To create better awareness about Human Rights of Old People across the country.
· To improve overall attitude toward older people living with mental / psychological disorders
· To set up door-step healthcare support systems for elderly with poor health conditions / disabilities
· To organize recreational / entertainment activities for older persons through social / electronic media and encourage their participation
· To provide digital training to digitally illiterate elderly to help them remain in the mainstream and connected to the modern digital world
· To conduct special training programs for public health practitioners, mental health providers, health care professionals and volunteers for providing better and effective care to older people