As Australia is starting to see the light at the end of the Coronavirus tunnel, it has made us reflect on how COVID-19 has been affecting our elderly. Whilst older Australians are indeed more vulnerable to the virus, it is important not just to consider the physical health concerns of our older community members, but also their emotional state.
A recent Forbes article highlighted one perspective from the world’s oldest active CEO, Frances Hesselbein who is 104 years old and has lived through the Spanish Flu. Frances told Forbes, “We’ve been through worse and we’ll get through this.”
In March this year, ABC also interviewed many elderly Australians about their thoughts on COVID-19. Maggie McLeod being an 82-year-old retired Biochemist is not surprised at the emergence of coronavirus, but had some thoughts about how Australia has been reacting to this widespread virus. According to Maggie, life under coronavirus has not changed much for her and she wasn’t fazed by a complete lockdown as she planned to communicate to her husband via phone. Maggie’s perspective on the virus has also been reflected by many other elderly people in our communities.
Here at Aged Care Decisions we have received many phone calls and emails from older people specifically to discuss the coronavirus situation and their changing needs in relation to it. We are constantly impressed by their calm and level reaction to the situation. For some, it has made them realise that it is now time to start looking at additional care options in their own homes. For others, the virus has prompted them take a proactive approach and start their research into Aged Care options so they can move into aged care on their own terms. n almost all instances the older people we are speaking with are concerned but practical about coronavirus.
Our elderly have a wealth of life experience and knowledge. They have lived through wars, recessions and radical social changes. This life experience offers greater perspective, not just on Coronavirus but on the changing world we now find ourselves in.