Family Digest 34

The Vulnerability of Older Persons during COVID-19

Globally, older persons have been identified as being a vulnerable group during the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown imposed to prevent its spread. Furthermore, older persons have been included in the population sector that is vulnerable to the mental health risks associated with COVID-19. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), being elderly or having a chronic disease does not mean you are more likely to get COVID-19; it means you are at risk of developing more serious symptoms or complications should you do get it. Most of the deaths caused by COVID-19 have involved older persons who have underlying chronic health conditions such as diabetes, dementia or cardiovascular strains, or any disease that compromises the working of the immune system, such as HIV or TB. Consequently, most of the COVID-19 mortalities have tended to be the elderly and those with chronic diseases. Recent studies have showed a higher mortality of elderly patients with COVID-19 than those of young and middle-aged patients.[i]