The Unfortunate Case Of the Elderly During The COVID-19 Pandemic
Older people, like everybody else on the planet, have equal rights to life and health. Sadly, the rate of mortality among the elderly is continuing to rise amidst the COVID-19 crisis. Now more than ever, the demand to reinforce programs and policies concerning older persons are being tackled worldwide. Check out how the older generation in different parts of the world is being treated during this deadly outbreak.
The Vulnerability of the Elderly
Some research suggests that the severity of COVID-19 increases with age. According to the Italian National Institute of Health, the average age of those losing their lives in Italy is 80. As for the United States, the government data states that folks aged 65 and above have so far accounted for 31% of cases, 53% of intensive care hospitalizations, and 80% of fatalities.
Coronavirus-related deaths in American nursing homes, as well as long-time elderly care facilities, account for one-third of the nation’s overall COVID-19 fatalities, as per the New York Times. Due to physical and social reasons, like weaker immune systems, higher likelihood of being institutionalized, and greater isolation or mobility challenges, the old need more to survive this global crisis.
Talks on Protective Measures
There have been discussions and debates on how to protect older generations against the coronavirus ever since the outbreak began. The UK government had those aged above 70 in stringent isolation for four months at their homes or care homes to segregate them from the rest of the population. This decision, however, caused widespread criticism, as it seems as though they were being sacrificed to strengthen immunity.
Sweden, where 90% of mortality rates as of April 28 were above 70, acknowledged that it failed to protect their elderly sufficiently. About half of the casualties occurred among residents of nursing homes. As for Israel, 30,000 older people regularly benefit from visiting day clubs and centers operated by the Labor and Social Welfare Ministry. However, because of the Health Ministry’s new guidelines, even those had shut down.
Since this outbreak may stalk the globe longer than expected, more countries are launching strategies for recovery. Yet, challenges about measures for older adults persist. France is meeting an increasing dispute about the condition for older citizens after reopening. Some critics are condemning the government for setting various rules for older folks, as they are being asked to isolate themselves for a more extended period.
It’s Everyone’s Business to Help the Elderly
The pandemic reflects healthcare and crisis management among various governments when it comes to their elderly citizens. Amid the coronavirus outbreak, issues on nursing facilities, social welfare, community aids, and so on have been revealed.
Everyone should support and protect older people who are living alone within their community, according to Europe’s WHO Regional Director, Dr. Hans Henri P. Kluge. All communities should be sustained to perform interventions, ensuring the elderly have what they need during these times. They should be treated with respect and dignity, as no one should be left behind.
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