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Extended shutdown leaves senior citizens isolated and helpless

DTNext 2020-06-30 05:43:14

Now crossing three months, many in the city have tried to adapt to the changing requirements of the shutdown in various ways. However, one group that is finding it difficult to adapt are senior citizens, who say that the shutdown is causing them to feel isolated and helpless.

Chennai: One of the biggest disadvantages is for senior citizens living alone in the city. This number is quite high, said D Rajashekaran, secretary, Tamil Nadu Senior Citizens Association. “During the shutdown, this isolation is even more pronounced. Having children or family members living nearby is something that gives senior citizens some comfort, and the lack of that can cause issues,” he said.

This lack of support can be seen even in their daily activities, said a senior citizen residing in Kodambakkam. “We have stopped calling our maid as she goes to other houses as well, and we fear falling ill. That means that I have to take care of the house on my own, and it is leaving me very tired at the end of the day. We just hope that there would be an easier and safe solution to help us through the shutdown,” she said.

Contracting the outbreak continues to be a very apparent concern for senior citizens, many of whom fear to step out due to this. The rising number of cases and vulnerability due to co-morbidities have pushed senior citizens to be recluses.

“It is just my wife and I staying together at home. We are finding it difficult to manage our daily activities with no assistance. Life has been very difficult these last few months, and honestly, sometimes I wish I were dead,” said professor V Chandra Shekar, president of the Senior Citizen’s Group of Besant Nagar.

Although essential needs are easily accessible, Rajashekaran explained that increased help from local volunteers and groups would greatly benefit their mental health during this shutdown. “Many are hesitant to help, with good reason. Safety is paramount. But surely something can be done to safely assist seniors at this time,” he said.