January 13, 2021 - 18:23 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - The Covid-19 pandemic is having catastrophic health, social and financial impacts on older people in the South Caucasus region, including Armenia, according to a new study led by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).
The study, which involved 2,200 older people and was carried out in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia, shows that the consequences of the coronavirus are being borne disproportionately by poor and older people who have become poorer, sicker and more isolated.
In Armenia, the ability of older people to cover their expenses, especially for household services, utilities, food, medicines and medical services has decreased since the Covid-19 outbreak. One third of older people have received extra financial or in-kind support during the pandemic from national and local government, NGOs and international organizations; something that has been especially appreciated by those older people usually excluded from assistance, the research says.
One third of the older people interviewed for the survey were in need of home-based care, but only one fifth were able to access it, with coverage almost negligible in rural areas.
According to the study, a small proportion of older people report worsening health as one of the secondary effects of Covid-19. This is usually related to emotional stress, lower self-esteem and reduced physical activity. Older people’s perception of their mental health and spiritual wellbeing has dropped considerably.
Disruption of social ties with neighbors, community and family, reinforced by limited mobility, are among the main negative social effects of Covid-19 on older people.
The study made similar finding in the two neighboring countries, Georgia and Azerbaijan.
The number of confirmed coronavirus infections in Armenia grew by 485 to reach 163,128 on January 13. So far, 151,246 people have recovered, 2951 have died from the coronavirus in the country, while 715 others carrying the virus have died from other causes.