As countries are affected by COVID-19, the elderly population have been told to self-isolate for “a very long time” in Australia, and elsewhere.
People aged 70 years and over, and people aged 65 years and over with chronic medical conditions, are at greater risk of more serious illness if they are infected with coronavirus.
This attempt to shield the elderly and vulnerable came as countries worldwide enforce lockdowns, curfews, and social isolation to mitigate the spread of the virus.
However, it is well known that social isolation among older adults is also a serious public health concern because of their heightened risk of cardiovascular, autoimmune, neurocognitive, and mental health problems.
Elderly care is being addressed in the community
St. Basil’s Homes NSW & ACT is part of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia and is an aged care provider with over 60 years of experience in aged care.
During these unprecedented times of COVID-19, we spoke with Mrs Maria Henien who is the Operations Manager of St. Basil’s Community Services department to learn more about how such health concerns for aged people are being addressed by community services.
Mrs Henien gave us an update on how St Basil’s have continued to support their clients who live independently in their own homes during these unprecedented times.
“As our elderly clients have been isolating at home and not visiting our Day Centres, we have taken our staff to them! Just before Easter we stopped by each home and delivered an Easter package with a palm cross, an icon, some red eggs, some koulourakia and some crosswords to keep their minds active. The smiles and blessings our staff received for this small contact touched us deeply.
“We are taking the time to check in weekly to make sure they are okay with their medication and shopping needs; helping busy families where we can,” Mrs Henien said.
St Basil’s has also been working in partnership with Katerers4Kanteens who also run the Beverly Hills North public-school Canteen.
Katerers4Kanteens General Manager Gavriella and her niece Irene, offered assistance for 5 weeks in the way of provision of free meals for those in need.
“Their help has been greatly appreciated and we thank them so much for their support,” Mrs Henien told Greek City Times.
“As their assistance is now coming to a close, we will start, in coming weeks, to deliver food directly from our St. Basil’s Lakemba kitchen into the homes of our Community clients.”
“It has been an opportunity to review the care needs of our existing clients, and also pleasing to be able to assist others on a more ad hoc basis. If you are concerned for your loved one at home, we want to hear from you,” urges Mrs Henien.