What impact does the health crisis have on elderly people ?

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It has been almost a year and a half since the beginning of the COVID crisis and while barrier measures are still essential, it is now vaccination that is at the core issues. Currently, more than 82% of people over 75 years old are fully vaccinated in France.

This long and difficult period has highlighted and exacerbated some problems such as isolation and loneliness. These are important vectors of vulnerability that can trigger cognitive disorders. We know that all this will have long-term consequences on our seniors and that it has already generated micro trauma. When asked, the most difficult feeling to live with was the deprivation of physical contact: not being able to kiss their loved ones, shake their hand or take them in their arms…

As you can see, this crisis has had a strong impact on the mental health of everyone, but especially on the one of our elders. Indeed, it has brought out several negative emotions such as: the fear of being contaminated or contaminating, the stress of confinements and barriers and sadness or boredom related to isolation. All of these, combined over a long period of time, can lead to loss of appetite, decreased activity, or poor sleep. According to a study, 41% of the elderly say that confinement has had an impact on their morale and 31% on their physical health. However, very few have dared to discuss the subject and even fewer with health professionals. Only 10% of the seniors, who consulted their doctor since the confinement, discussed the impact of this crisis on their psychological and physical health. Faced with these risks of psychological suffering and loss of autonomy, it is now essential to fight against the isolation of our seniors.

It is now important to be aware that isolation is an aggravating factor in the loss of autonomy. From this point of view, the French association Les Petit Frère Des Pauvres recommends the implementation of a national policy supporting home care and the prevention of loss of autonomy.

In spite of this, good things have happened: family relationships have been intensified for a large majority. Some older people have become familiar with digital tools in order to take advantage of a new way to spend time together and communicate. There is an increase in the number of Internet users and the use of instant messaging among seniors. Keeping in touch with loved ones through calls and videoconferences, tutoring grandchildren and even having celebration of all sorts have all been made possible at a distance!

 

The advantages of teleassistance in this situation :

Since the COVID-19 crisis, there has been an increase in the acceptance of teleassistance solutions. Indeed, the family and friends want to be reassured about the daily life of their loved one and the elderly want to live and enjoy their home in complete safety.

Telecare is not, of course, a substitute for the presence of a relative, but rather a complement to it. The technology is there to help the human being. Knowing that your loved one is safe and being reassured that nothing is wrong in their daily life, allows you to concentrate on other subjects during visits or calls and thus have more pleasant discussions, based on sharing good moments and less on worry.

 

Take preventive rather than corrective action :

Taking care of the well-being of our elders has evolved, caregivers want to implement preventive actions that analyse risks to avoid a problem occurring. They want to be able to anticipate and feel reassured to have a daily follow-up. We know that to reduce and prevent risk factors, a healthy lifestyle is necessary: a balanced diet, a restful sleep and regular physical activity.

Read our article on the impact of poor sleep in the elderly, as well as the importance of diet in preserving the autonomy of seniors.

Everyone wants to live at home for as long as possible. To make this possible, NOVIAcare ensures the safety of the elderly at home and helps to maintain the link and reassure the whole family. Even at a distance, family and friends can monitor their loved one’s health via a dedicated application (activity, diet, hygiene and sleep), to free themselves from daily worries. This makes it possible to rediscover a more serene relationship based on sharing with our elders.

It is possible to follow your loved one’s activity on the NOVIAcare mobile application thanks to daily and weekly reports. Simple and intuitive, these reports are easy to understand thanks to pictograms: green code (all is well), yellow code (vigilance) and red code (attention). This application offers a remote setting of the box: voice guidance, reminder to take medication, talking clock …

In addition to the 24/7 remote assistance service, the NOVIAcare solution also creates a bond of trust with people who are ready to help by relying on a local network (neighbors, friends, family) that can intervene if necessary. The device acts as a preventive measure to monitor activity in the home, frequency of meals, hygiene and sleep. If an anomaly is identified, the family and friends are automatically informed and can take preventive action.

1. Source : Isolement des personnes âgées : les effets du confinement, L’isolement de nos aînés est une vraie distanciation sociale, Rapport Petits Frères Des Pauvres #4, Juin 2020

2. Source : CREDOC, Baromètres du numérique

Source : Note de synthèse : L’impact de la COVID-19 sur les personnes âgées, Mai 2020, Nations Unies

 

 

 

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