Hacettepe University Faculty of Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Head of Geriatrics, Prof. Dr. Mustafa Cankurtaran made a statement to the AA correspondent about the physical and mental effects of the Kovid-19 epidemic on the elderly.
Emphasizing that the elderly are among the groups most affected by the epidemic, Cankurtaran said that due to the restrictions applied in the first periods, the elderly could not go out, move enough and see their relatives.
Cankurtaran stated that although 1.5 years have passed, the epidemic still continues and this long process has serious effects on the psychology of the elderly in particular, and continued as follows:
“When we look at our publications, we saw that the frequency of depression in the elderly increased almost 2-3 times during this period. Again, we saw that both the patients we examined and our continuous publications progressed, forgetfulness diseases such as Alzheimer’s began to be seen more often in the elderly and it increased almost 2-3 times. depression and dementia. In this respect, it is beneficial for the elderly to see a doctor from geriatrics, neurology, psychiatry or internal medicine units.”
Explaining that the majority of the elderly are reluctant to go to hospitals and therefore delay their routine check-ups, Cankurtaran emphasized that they currently have a vaccine against the virus, so everyone who has had the third dose of vaccination should go to hospitals for their routine check-ups.
The lifeguard advised the elderly to take a walk, eat a balanced diet, sleep regularly, and take vitamin supplements under the control of a doctor so that they can spend the epidemic process healthier.
“We can see that there is an increase in the incidence of depression in outpatient clinic applications”
Ankara City Hospital Geriatrics Clinic Specialist Dr. Rana Tuna Doğrul pointed out that in addition to the risks brought by age, chronic diseases are also an important risk factor for the elderly during the epidemic process.
Reminding that the elderly have faced very serious restrictions in the last year, Doğrul said:
“Besides the fear of catching the disease, they stay at home due to restrictions, cannot carry out their daily life activities, meet their social circles and go out to a very low level, ‘Is it always like this?’ “In addition to scientific studies, we can see that there is a serious increase in the incidence of depression in the elderly in outpatient clinic applications. The elderly could not come to the hospital for a while because they had fear of the hospital, but when they came to the polyclinics, we saw that their depressive symptoms were high.”
“We attach great importance to regular sleep in stress management”
Rana Tuna Doğrul also stated that due to excessive inactivity, the elderly become unable to perform even very simple daily tasks, and they may encounter muscle and joint pain and muscle wasting problems.
Providing advice for the elderly to spend the epidemic period in a healthier way, Doğrul said:
“We recommend short-distance walks and exercises that will not force themselves. In addition, quality nutrition is very important for them to get through this process in a healthy way. Again, we attach great importance to regular sleep in stress management. Besides, there is a lot of work for the people around the elderly. Protecting them and having face-to-face meetings will reduce their sense of loneliness and anxiety.”