Many of us have been keeping an anxious eye on the Covid-19 situation in South Africa for months. And the sight isn’t pretty. As of writing, South Africa’s confirmed cases of infection are fast approaching 400 000, with over 5000 deaths. And the news is even worse for the elderly. Research gathered by the World Health Organisation from the top 30 countries with the largest percentage of older people indicate that the elderly are more at risk for getting the infection, getting infected more severely, and more likely to die as a result. All pretty grim.
But it’s not all bad news. Thanks to what we know about how the virus is transmitted, keeping your elderly relatives safe isn’t that difficult. By now, we’re all familiar with the social distancing measures of wearing masks and keeping 2m away from other people, to prevent transfer of infectious droplets from noses and mouths. For older people, social distancing should be increased to shielding.
Shielding is designed to protect high-risk people, like the elderly, by minimising interaction with others. This means keeping them home and away from other people as much as possible. And thankfully, with modern technology and services – it is possible. With MedsToGo, they can get all their medication and pharmacy supplies delivered straight to their door. This includes all chronic medication, supplements, and general pharmacy items. You don’t even have to live in the same household, as you can conveniently sponsor someone’s deliveries on the app. This saves them the hassle of having to go out shopping for themselves, prevents them from touching things unnecessarily, and ensures they never run out of meds. For non-medical shopping, delivery services are also available for groceries and fast foods from a variety of stores and companies. These services mean elderly people don’t have to leave the safety of home to get supplies.
That’s all very well, you say, but what about social needs? Social distancing could very easily turn into social isolation – a very real problem for older people. Thanks again to modern technology, you can keep in touch with elderly loved ones virtually through a variety of platforms like Whatsapp, Zoom, and Skype, which all have video calling features. You can expect some initial resistance to adopting new tech, but the good news is, with frequency comes familiarity. The more they use apps (such as MedsToGo and virtual social platforms), the more familiar and comfortable they’ll be with them. And since the Corona virus is unfortunately here to stay for a while, the sooner people adapt, the less likely they’ll be impacted by this unwelcome visitor.
As the world braces itself for many more months of battle against Covid-19, protect your elderly loved ones by shielding them from avoidable exposure. Keep them safe. Keep them home.