As panic regarding the Coronavirus sets in across the globe, the hordes of people who have raided the shelves to stockpile toiletries have left the rest of us struggling to find the bare essentials.
If the sight of empty supermarket shelves wasn’t embarrassing enough, footage of altercations between greedy shoppers and those in need highlights the selfishness of some people in a time where we should all be looking out for each other.
Amongst all the fighting and foolishness, thousands of Australian seniors who struggle to even get to the supermarket are now being forced to go home empty-handed.
Being physically active can be extremely challenging for an elderly person, and in some cases, they may be moving independently out of necessity rather than by choice.
Although many elderly Australians have family and friends who are able to provide assistance in times of need, there is still a large portion of older people who are being left to fend for themselves.
Ensuring their safety will require people to take the focus off themselves and embracing the concept of community by being mindful of those around them.
Love Thy Neighbour
While the internet has increased connectivity amongst people from an online point of view, remaining connected online has actually isolated people from each other in real life.
In a society as well equipped and automated as we currently are, we are far less reliant and engaged with those around us in-person, which has taken away from our sense of community and removed support networks from those who are isolated and in need.
These days, the idea of checking-in on someone in your local community may not be the most common thing to do, but it can be extremely beneficial for the welfare of the elderly and those who are vulnerable.
If you are aware of an older person in your street or suburb who lives alone, take the opportunity to reach out and start a conversation to let them know that you care.
Random acts of kindness like this can provide nourishment to the soul of the visitor and some much-needed peace of mind to an older person who may be in need and thankful for your consideration.
Turning up on a stranger’s door bearing toilet paper may initially feel a little bit embarrassing, but that does not compare to the embarrassment that they would feel having to knock on your door to ask for toilet paper, or simply go without.
Although there appears to be a lot of hysteria regarding the coronavirus, it’s important to remember that older people – especially those with preexisting health conditions – are at more at risk of dying than any other age group.
Remaining at home and distanced from large social gatherings actually lowers the risk of infection, but being completely isolated can have a negative effect on an older person’s mental health and increase the likelihood of going without food and other essential items.
Many of the elderly people that walk among us have faced incredible hardship, and the attitude required to persevere through tough times can make it difficult for them to willingly ask for help.
Don’t be afraid to make the first move.
Photo Courtesy of @jamiezhu Social Media