1st October International Day of Older Persons - Pandemics: Do They Change How We Address Age and Ageing?
1 October 2020
It would be fair to say 2020 has been a year like no other in recent history, with the onset and rise of COVID-19 causing worldwide upheaval, and highlighting the need for health systems globally to be more prepared to provide routine services and support to older persons (and the most vulnerable).
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said,
“The COVID-19 pandemic is causing untold fear and suffering for older people across the world. Beyond its immediate health impact, the pandemic is putting older people at greater risk of poverty, discrimination and isolation. It is likely to have a particularly devastating impact on older people in developing countries”.
Policy and programmatic interventions need to be more proactive and targeted towards raising awareness of the special needs associated with older persons and ageing. Policy and future programs also need to give greater importance to older persons as contributors to their own health (i.e. in identifying needs, planning and implementation); and the multiple roles they can play in the preparedness and response phases of current and future pandemics and health initiatives/programs in general.
At Indigo the COVID-19 pandemic saw our management and people rise to the unprecedented challenges and find effective and sustainable solutions so we could continue to deliver essential services to assist in keeping at risk members of our community as safe as possible within their homes.
Appointments were completed using telehealth technology. Our team embraced learning new technologies, and completed initial assessments and appointments by looking at interventions and assistive technology options via a variety of platforms including telephone, Facetime, BEAM and Microsoft Teams.
We also took the opportunity to investigate the types of technology options our customers already had access to, and we explored devices and skills that could be used to help our customers have access to technology. In some cases’ we were able to provide devices to customers to assist them with staying socially connected.
2020 marks the 30th Anniversary of the International Day of Older Persons and the start of the Decade of Healthy Ageing (2020-2030).