In India, the situation is getting worse due to COVID-19 as the number of infected people is increasing by every passing day. If we talk about Kerala in particular, the state will have to go through a tough time soon. NORKA has stated that over half a million Kerala expats are expected to come back soon from 201 nations (out of which many countries are heavily infected with COVID 19). This will definitely escalate the coronavirus infection in the state.
Table of contents
- COVID-19 mortality rate by Age in Kerala
- Current situation of COVID In Kerala
- How To Keep Your Older Members Safe During COVID-19?
- COVID-19 Recovery rate by age group in Kerala
- The challenges elders face during COVID-19
- Caregiving in the time of Coronavirus
- Limitations for young people
- What can we do?
- Mathews Home
Kerala government and responsible authorities have already issued the statement that those who will be returning from foreign countries have to spend 14-day mandatory quarantine. At present, Kerala is on the second stage of infection, but the number of infected individuals per day is showing an upward sign. This shows that chances of the community spread are very high, which could even worsen the situation, especially for seniors.
According to NORKA, 24 lakhs of Malayalees are working abroad. Most of them are in the UAE where the situation is getting worse by every passing day. NRIs have to go through medical tests to assure that they are not infected and even wait for their turn. So, it is very obvious that their parents and families have to live alone in their hometowns.
Those who are working in the Healthcare sectors abroad can’t return to Kerala as it’s the time when they have to fulfil their duty and help infected people to recover soon. Their aging parents and family members have to accept the fact that they have to live alone for a long time.
COVID-19 mortality rate by Age in Kerala
It has been found in COVID related research that seniors who are 60 years or above and especially those who have pre-existing medical conditions like hypertension (High BP), lung disease, diabetes, heart disease or cancer are highly prone to coronavirus infection as compared to people of other age groups.
The major reason why seniors are prone to this deadly virus are:
- Seniors have a lesser amount of infection-fighting cells, known as WBCs or white blood cells. The cells also lose their power of identifying bacteria, viruses, and pathogens with aging– making it easier for them to cause damage to the host, i.e. human beings.
- Seniors with chronic diseases like cancer and diabetes already have lesser immunity as their WBCs lose their effectiveness in naturally responding to the virus and leave them more vulnerable to infection.
Current situation of COVID In Kerala
This can be considered as the 2nd stage as 5.63 lakh non-resident Keralites are returning back to Kerala. Even though we had fought the 1st stage effectively, the risk factor is high in the 2nd stage. Following the return of Keralites from other countries and states, more cases were reported in mid-May, with the biggest single-day spike (608 cases) on 14th July. We cannot neglect the chances of community spread.
For the latest COVID-19 figures in Kerala, visit Govt. of Kerala’s Official COVID-19 Statistics at https://dashboard.kerala.gov.in/. Here you could find statistics of cases, location, quarantined, test results, community kitchen, Social volunteer force etc.
How To Keep Your Older Members Safe During COVID-19?
Strictly follow these do’s and don’ts to protect our elderly and help them stay safe during these times.
To protect our elders at home, we should:
Educate them about the situation. Encourage them to use the mask
Wash our hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after providing care, preparing food, using the washroom, or touching surfaces in public places.
Avoid touching our eyes, mouth and nose with unwashed hands.
Maintain proper hygiene within our home premises and make sure we sanitize the surfaces properly.
To protect others (also us) in our community:
Don’t go to crowded places. Avoid participating in large gatherings.
Avoid direct contact with people who are returned from abroad or other states recently.
Avoid unnecessary hospital visits.
Avoid public transports.
This COVID19 pandemic is affecting elders more than other age groups. They are stuck at home, cannot go out, drive, or take public transport. They cannot even go for their routine health checkups. According to WHO, Seniors are going through un-diagnosed or poorly managed depression.
COVID-19 Recovery rate by age group in Kerala
The recovery rate in seniors is very less as compared to other age groups. But still, there is some hope as two patients aged 92 years and 82 years the old couple have successfully recovered from this deadly virus. But still, the situation is difficult and you cannot neglect the high-risk factors for seniors. Globally, the recovery rate due to coronavirus was overwhelmingly weighted against the elderly.
The challenges elders face during COVID-19
Most of the senior citizens are staying alone in their hometown. Besides the high risk of being robbed or attacked, the current situation put extra pressure on the seniors. They have to manage everything from going to the market to hospital visits alone. This is also affecting their mental health.
- Risk of robbery.
- Abuse or neglect.
- They have to manage everything alone.
- Delayed regular medical checkups.
- Restrictions on the freedom of movement.
- Stress or anxiety.
Caregiving in the time of Coronavirus
In Kerala, most of the NRI’s hire non-professionals as caregivers and they are supposed to do the basic needs like cooking, cleaning. Caregivers can help with getting medications, grocery shopping, bill paying, setting up video communications with healthcare providers and family members, and providing companionship for the vulnerable individuals during this uncertain time.
But in this situation, those who are not trained can experience immense frustration and feelings of helplessness. These caretakers might not be aware of the protocols to follow during this pandemic. And they may take the bus or any other public transport for their daily travelling. So, sometimes it might not be possible to keep precautions, and this could increase the chances of seniors getting infected.
Limitations for young people
Those who are coming from foreign countries or even from other states of the country have to serve 14 days quarantine. Many states in India have declared that you have to live in isolation for 14-28 days when you come back to your home state from any place. This creates a problem for NRIs as most of their time will be spent on travelling & quarantine. Their purpose of visiting their home town and spending some time with their parents or family members will not be served at all. That’s why most of them have decided to drop their plans of visiting their parents and make some better arrangements for their parents.
What can we do?
If you are unable to take care of your parents during the COVID time, the best thing to do this time is to get help from trusted professionals who can take care of the elder’s needs. Keeping them among people of similar age group with proper social distancing will improve their mental health as well.
Paid old age homes /community or retirement homes could be the big win against COVID. Because elders don’t need to be concerned about their basic requirements like going to the market or cooking or cleaning. Their daily medical check-up will also be taken care of in these luxury retirement homes. They can be in a friend circle keeping social distancing. Recommended diets can be followed easily. In short, they can lead a happy life without worrying about much.
Give your parents a short term stay at Mathews Home to bypass this COVID time securely. It is a luxury home for seniors in kottayam or you can say a modern paid old age home where seniors can live luxuriously. They will get every comfort of life that they usually dream when their kids start earning or are into a good profession. They know all their hard work and money is going to pay in the form of comfort and excellent care that they expect from their kids. But when your kids live far away, Mathews Home gives them an opportunity to provide everything that their parents expects from them. We are not just any old age home, we offer a home to your seniors in a true sense.
At Mathews, we let seniors live independently and enjoy their daily routine. They will live with people of similar age groups and can make their new friends keeping Social distancing. We let them do whatever they want to and in which they find happiness. We take care of their food, health checkups, security, interests and much more. Mathews home has 7.2 acres of land, so the inmates can enjoy all kinds of activities by maintaining proper social distancing. Our staff is aware of COVID situation and strictly follows the preventive measures. Mathews Home has given special training to its staff on how to maintain hygiene and take preventive measures against coronavirus.
Facilities available at Mathews Home are:
- Assistance in Performing Daily Activities.
- Health Care Assistance.
- Planned Resident Outings.
- Clean & Hygienic Premises.
- Quick Access for Emergency Help.
- 24×7 Nursing Care.
- Healthy Food.
- Geriatric Gym.
- Instant Access to Chapel.
- Live Chat with Family.
- Enjoy Leisure Time Activities.
- Architecture As Per Seniors.
- Personal Counselling.
- Home Nurse.
Your parents don’t need to worry about buying groceries or regular medical check-ups in this COVID time. Set them free from all worries. Choose happiness for your aging parents that they always wished for by letting them live in not just a home but “Mathews Home”.