People over 70 feel marginalised ?

People over 70 can often be seen as preferring to stay at home anyway, or not be interested in outside activities, etc. This nowadays is not the profile of many "elderly" people. By inference, anyone under that age is "ok" - which can lead to feelings of immunity in younger people, which in turn CAN make them less willing to follow the protocols applying to everyone. NOTE: I do not say ALL younger people. We do realise that we are being asked to stay home for our own safety, but this is not balanced by some attitudes to older people.Added to the stress of being "elderly" - which many "elderly "do not relate to in terms of behaviour, fitness level, attitude to life, liveliness, interests and more - is the fact that many live ALONE. This is often not a choice, but just the way things have happened. There is no doubt that mental well being is adversely affected by being alone and fearful and at risk. it isn't true to say that the"elderly" are resigned to being quarantined: many feel imprisoned and are becoming more and more afraid to do anything outside the home because of the constant barrage of information and dire statistics about being "at risk". They become reluctant to go for a walk, talk to a neighbour over a wall(distancing of course). Many older people do not have a willing army of friends and family to do errands for them, and do not have technology to assist them in online shopping, so they are often obliged to go out themselves, using public transport and somehow struggle with weekly shopping. Sanitising every article bought, unsure of whether your house is clean enough, being afraid to answer the door, all add to the considerable stress felt. There are alternatives - eg associations and volunteer groups - but without Internet access or someone to assist, this can be overwhelming. It is not fair to assume that somehow life is over when you reach a certain age, and I think this is often implied in some articles or statements.

Why the contribution is important

I think my idea is important because I know from speaking to many people in the "elderly "group that they often feel a resentment at being so grounded. Mental health suffers appetite diminishes, sleep is disturbed.They often share a common view , that it is unfair to ask them - at a time when they should be enjoying remaining years -they are being asked to live the life of a recluse. So many are out every day, shopping, visiting people, maybe looking after grandchildren, helping someone else, taking part in clubs, sports activities, going on trips and holidays and more. They are not well off, just active.Mental health issues are not confined to the younger people, older folk keenly feel a sense of abandonment and despair, defeat. They also wonder if they do fall ill, how will they receive treatment . Yes, I do know that many older folk do not do such active things and are happy to stay home : they may have health issues that prevent full mobility, they may enjoy life alone at home. But many older people are of a generation that was independent and encouraged to do things for themselves, and they take it very hard that they are effectively "imprisoned." Not everyone has a lovely garden, lots of money, and resources that make isolation easier. Facebook pages and ads tend to show older people lovingly being attended by friends and family- albeit remotely. Facebook mainly shows families/partners/sharers coping with lockdown in a variety of ways that requires company, which so many older people do not have. This can also make the person watching it(if they have the technology) even more isolated and alone. How about showing the reality of some older folks' lives - eg an old person comes back from a walk to a small modest flat, the sole companion being a cat or a dog and a TV set. We are NOT in the same boat : we are in the same storm : our boats have different numbers of crew and that 's what makes the difference.

by StoryTeller on May 07, 2020 at 03:07PM

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Average rating: 4.0
Based on: 6 votes

Comments

  • Posted by AWAD2020 May 07, 2020 at 16:34

    This is an important topic. As a fit and active 71 year old I know many people are living longer than in the past - at 70 luckily we are not all old and certainly we are not past it. Many do part-time work, care for young children, look after older partners, and remain active, political and informed - let us contribute to everyone's welfare by continuing to be active.
  • Posted by AADAberdeen May 07, 2020 at 17:31

    Give us older people some credit for being able to use our judgement, based on experience, to regulate our lives. Much of the information being given to the public initially was based on mathematical modeling not facts. We followed Italy and both Italy & Britain have high death rates. The whole basis of decision making needs to be questioned. Publish the minutes of the SAGE & other committees and let us judge for ourselves.
  • Posted by gordonadam May 07, 2020 at 18:00

    I agree that we need to move from a rules-based approach to lock down to more reliance on common sense, and over 70s generally have plenty of life experience to stand them in good stead, especially since they are in a vulnerable age group. Regular outdoors activity is vital for this age group and it needs to be made clear by government that this is encouraged, by removing the threat of police action if they use their cars to take them to a favourite walk.
  • Posted by Pensioner May 07, 2020 at 18:27

    As a couple over 80 and in a vulnerable position, we feel totally neglected in the present Covid-19 crisis. We have had no contact with our medical practice since notification to get flu vaccinations last year. We had to call out NHS 111 two weeks ago when my wife had a fall. The visiting doctor sent a report to our practice but there has been no follow up from them. We feel that people in our age group should be monitored and various options suggested: 1. A covid-19 test in the home 2. Arrangement for deliveries of food should we have to isolate. (Virtually no delivery time slots are available in our local supermarkets.) 3. Specific instructions for over 70s ie wear face masks when going out of the home, a single shop a week In general I feel that over 70s should be asked to attend their medical practice at least 6 monthly intervals to check on underlying conditions. (I have been on the same medication for 4 years without a checkup.)
  • Posted by janewill May 07, 2020 at 18:53

    Local GP service isn't very supportive during Covid although all I hear on the tv is they are open and willing to talk to us. I attended A&E in Glasgow (on advice of NHS 111 which was great) but had absolutely no follow up from my GP. My husband has had high Blood Pressure for some time, recently more elevated than normal and I suggested he should discuss with GP. Had a phone consultation, instantly dismissed and seemed that she was not interested at all. I thought the point was to look after our over 70's and encourage medical discussion, not dismiss as irrelevant.
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