Image used for representational purpose only
NEW DELHI: Loneliness and a deepening sense of uncertainty has hit the senior citizens like never before during the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic, according to the analysis based on interactions with over 5,000 elderly during the past one month by volunteers of Agewell Foundation. It has released data to flag mental health concerns with over 82% of the eldery complaining of anxiety due to rising Covid-19 cases and casualties around them.
Around 70.2% of respondents were found suffering from sleeplessness or insomnia or nightmares due to poor quality of sleep. During the past month, it was also found that 63% of the elderly developed symptoms of depression due to loneliness and social isolation and unceasing stress The analysis is based on feedback collected between April 10 and May 10.
More than half (55%) of the elderly claimed that they are also feeling weak and fatigued due to change in lifestyle, restrictions and other factors. At the same time, over 52% complained of loss of appetite.
Agewell Foundation Founder Himanshu Rath said, “During the past month, there was overall rise of 50% in the number of older people seeking counselling or help for psychological issues.”
These concerns are also reflected in the nature of calls being received by organisations like HelpAge India. Dr Imtiaz Ahmed, mission head, Agecare, said not only have the number of calls increased across 24 states on HelpAge India’s toll-free helpline number (1800-180-1253), the overall experience reflects a growing sense of vulnerability with loneliness and uncertainty emerging as the common thread.
The helpline has had calls from the elderly seeking a varied range of assistance—from hospital beds, oxygen to seeking assistance for transportation. Recognising that vaccination holds the key to fighting the virus, HelpAge is now totally focussed on making the elderly aware and overcome vaccine hesitancy besides facilitating them to get vaccinated.