Heightened Emotions of Hopelessness, Boredom and Loneliness
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused untold fear and suffering for thousands of elderly people across our country. At the end of 2020, the virus had taken the lives of more than a million people globally. Fatality rates for those between 65 - 80 years of age were five times the global average.
Efforts to protect the most vulnerable and frail is needed more than ever and this is exactly what The Issy Geshen Old Age Home in Lamontville has done and continues to do.
Sifiso Ngidi, Administrator at Issy Geshen, explains that at the onset of COVID the Home immediately reserved ten beds for those residents who have been tested or if an elder shows any symptoms. “Today, we are delighted to report that our elders remain active and strong,’ ’exclaims Sifiso.
“Like all healthcare organisations, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) was purchased, incurring an unexpected cost of R78 000 but more than that the various levels of lockdown exacerbated the three main areas which plague the ageing: feeling of hopelessness, boredom and loneliness.
“Already areas of concern, these were heightened which meant that staff had to work harder to, not only alleviate fear, but to counteract the emotions of hopelessness and loneliness and create additional activities to compensate for what would normally be visiting times.’’
The Issy Geshen Home, an impact partner of Community Chest Durban, has been a shining example of how to care for the elderly during the COVID-19 pandemic - not only from a clinical as well as an emotional perspective.