COVID-19: The Invisible Older Adult
Older adults are vulnerable and disproportionally suffer more during the COVID-19 crisis.
Technology took a fast lane and passed many seniors. Known problems associated with aging include decreased mobility and chronic medical conditions resulting in reduced function and participation. The mostly invisible older population is afraid. What can you do?
- Notice the agility and mobility of senior neighbors;
- pay attention whether they are picking up mail, newspapers, putting the garbage out, or keeping their yard tidy;
- do you see friends or family members visiting;
- are lights on at night;
- has their car been moved;
- are they still walking their pet?
It would be beneficial also:
- If you see them outside, converse with them from a distance assuring they are physically and mentally okay;
- to call them on the phone;
- to inquire if they have technical abilities and use a computer so you can make contact;
- to question if they have needs for food, grocery shopping, other necessities;
- to check on them daily, especially if they are not technologically savvy.
As a part of our humanity, we need to be responsible for each other, especially those who have been invisible in the past.
Gene Uzawa Dorio, M.D.