Solidarity with seniors during the pandemic

This is a difficult time for everyone — particularly seniors. Here’s how people around the world are ensuring their vulnerable older people are taken care of during the pandemic. 💜

Protecting the Elderly

What do they need?

The three best ways to help out the elderly during stay-at-home orders or self-quarantine are hosting special senior shopping hours, delivering essentials to their doorsteps, and fighting loneliness in isolation. Many grocery stores have designated senior hours bright and early in the morning so that the elderly can get their freshly cleaned and delivered food and supplies from their local supermarkets without being exposed to younger people who may be unknowingly carrying the virus. There are also programs, like Invisible Hands in NYC and New Jersey, where volunteers pick up groceries, prescriptions, and other essentials for elderly and immunocompromised neighbors. A Facebook post asking friends to help has grown to 7,500 volunteers serving New York and New Jersey. They’ve done over 300 deliveries in 2 weeks. But the major obstacle the elderly currently face is crippling loneliness as many homes and hospitals for older people are forbidding visitors to protect their residents.

“Because of the recent epidemic, we have prohibited families from visiting our elderly home since early in the lunar new year. But of course, our elderly residents would feel depressed when they cannot meet their families. With the help of this robot, they can make video calls, so families can still communicate with the elderly face-to-face without being here physically,” Wong Ka Cheong, a staff member of an elderly care center in Hong Kong, shares with Brut.

How to prevent the virus

As there is no vaccine, the WHO has stressed the need for citizens to take collective action and use at-home prevention methods. Several countries have stay-at-home orders or advisories in place; it is extremely important to follow them. Other known prevention methods include rigorously and frequently washing hands, using hand sanitizer if soap is unavailable, disinfecting any and all surfaces, and preparing medicine and food supplies in case of infection.