Elderly Vulnerable to Depression during Pandemic Period

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JAKARTAElderly not only groups who are prone to Covid-19 but also prone to mental health problems. In the current pandemic era, the number of mental health disorders in the elderly is increasing.

Oma, so the 93 year old woman is familiarly called. Since the pandemic, oma automatically reduces its outside activities. The elderly who suffer from hypertension usually still participate in family gathering or travel with their children, grandchildren, and even great-grandchildren, now they can only stay at home for fear of contracting them. The activity of reading books to oma, which was usually done by the grandson, was cut off. (Read: Here Are Two Priorities of Istiqamah Attitude)

To cheer up the grandmother who lives with her child, the grandchildren used to call her to treat homesickness, just to share stories. “During this pandemic, we reduce our gatherings with oma. Usually we just bring him his favorite food and sit on the terrace once a week. Even then, only four people came. We don’t shake hands, let alone hug and always wear masks. Eid even our extended family prohibited us from coming, ”explained Maryani, one of the grandchildren of oma.

In order to see her grandson come and bring food, this grandmother, named Badaniar Kasim, is enough. He felt cared for by the family. According to Maryani, this is very important so that oma does not feel alone and comforted.

As they get older, there is a decrease in body function and there are limitations in activities experienced by the elderly. This condition can trigger stress, depression, or feelings of uselessness. In addition, elderly people often experience the loss of the people closest to them in life, which can lead to depression and loneliness.

No wonder the group the elderly prone to mental health problems. In fact, in the current Covid-19 pandemic era, the number of mental health disorders in the elderly has increased. This mental health disorder can be caused by several things, such as feelings of isolation because you cannot leave the house or worry and fear of being infected with the virus. (Also read: Santri Day, the Government must take sides and be present, not just a celebration)

This was revealed by Dr. Gina Anindyajati SpKJ. According to him, since the Covid-19 pandemic, as many as 2 out of 5 elderly people have had mental disorders. “Social restrictions increase social isolation and loneliness in the elderly during the pandemic,” said the RSUI mental health specialist.

Therefore, the elderly are advised to manage their mental health properly. These include adopting a healthy lifestyle (regular physical activity, a balanced diet, quality sleep), frequently stimulating the brain (for example by taking online classes or playing games), and continuing to actively build social networks and connect with the outside world.

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