In May this year, Tafta initiated an informal survey to assess the wellbeing of elders during the Lockdown. Of the 224 elders who responded to us nationally, we found that increased anxiety and fear were a real issue for older people.
Latest statistics indicate that over half (56,2%) of Covid-related deaths were in the 60-99 year age category. For many, increased anxiety translates to physical ailments, making this segment even more susceptible to the impacts of the pandemic.
The informal survey found the following experiences by the elder population were being experienced in society:
- 29% experienced Anxiety / restlessness
- 15% Sleeplessness
- 5% Lack of appetite
- 13% Tiredness
- 18% Sadness
- 20% Loneliness
- 7% feared Death of a friend/family member
- 10% indicated other stressors such as missing their family, lack of mobility and boredom.
While the country as whole is experiencing the impact of the pandemic, older people are the hardest hit.
Think for instance of the elder who lives alone, with no access to media, family or transportation? How would she know where to access food hampers, grants and other relief? Would that elder be trusting enough to hand money to a stranger in the hope that they would bring her what she needs? Think of a younger family member who has been recently laid off and goes seeking support from an older relative.
We are here to assist and there are ways in which we can support elders in our society. The Association for the Aged will be embarking on a two-month long campaign to educate the public on elders’ rights awareness, and seek public support to reach out to elders in need during the Coronavirus pandemic. With a view to extending into Mandela Month, the campaign aims to bring about conversation on the theme of how our actions impact the actions of others.
Included in the campaign line-up is the hosting of an online facebook live fundraiser and the organisation is seeking local entertainers to support them put this initiative together. If you would like to support them, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call Kemmy-Leigh Moodley on 031 332 3721 now.