Little Acts of Kindness for Older People in a Pandemic Situation
Monday, 06/07/2020SurveyMETERAstrid Nikijuluw, Bach. Of Business., M.M.
The COVID-19 pandemic has influenced our social system and make the world in a standstill. In Indonesia, as of June 19, 2020, the number of COVID-19 cases reached 43,803. Of these, 14% were elderly (aged 60 and older) and 44% of the mortality rate (2,373 cases). This shows that the highest number of deaths was experienced by the age group ≥ 60 years.
As we get older, our immune system weakens. This makes the elderly more vulnerable to all types of infections. Therefore, it is very important to support and protect the elderly during this pandemic, especially those who live alone. The government must be supported to provide interventions to ensure the elderly get what they need. This support can include nutritious food, basic needs such as food, medicines to support physical health and access to social and mental health support.
In the Special Region of Yogyakarta, as the province with the highest life expectancy in Indonesia, several actions and activities have been taken by various parties in supporting the elderly during the pandemic. We also try to do small activities according to our capacity as a research institution.
Our small activity was a documentation interview about Posyandu service initiatives and breakthroughs by elderly Posyandu cadres during the pandemic in 5 regencies / cities, namely Bantul, Gunungkidul, Kulon Progo, Sleman and Yogyakarta. In the interview we found that among their small activities during the pandemic included distributing masks and knowledge through flyers and posters about how to wear masks and wash hands properly.
In one village in Kulon Progo Regency, an initiative from an elderly posyandu cadre that was quite solutive was to encourage the elderly to continue to carry out additional activities such as gardening. Apart from living in the village and generally their profession is farmers, gardening activities can help economic and social conditions and maintain their immunity. Thus, during these activities they can also interact with each other while still observing the health protocol.
In another village in Bantul Regency, the village youth organization took the initiative to collect funds from local residents that were used to buy food that would be distributed to underprivileged people, including the elderly.
From the small interview activities during the pandemic, there are actually many lessons that we can learn. That the small concern of people in all sectors and ages can have a big impact on the health and happiness of others. We need to realize that the responsibility to maintain a healthy and safe environment rests with all of us. As President Joko Widodo said on Monday 18 May 2020, the most effective way to control the spread of Covid-19 was at the lowest community unit. We will be able to overcome this pandemic, but for that we must make active efforts to stay healthy both mentally and physically for ourselves and for those around us, including the elderly.
Thus a glimpse of the lessons we learned from our documentation. We also write notes in another version in the Active Aging Consortium Asia Pacific (ACAP) Bulletin June-July 2020 Edition (pp. 10-11), with the hope of learning from society and the global community. The full note can be read and downloaded here.