While the majority of us go about our lives taking the necessary precautions
– such as safe distancing
and maintaining good personal hygiene
– there is a group of people we need to look out for more than ever.
As of 19 March 2020, around 25% of those confirmed with COVID-19 in Singapore are aged 60 and above.
Why seniors are more vulnerable
Older people are more vulnerable to COVID-19, as they have a weaker immunity system. They are also more likely to have other health conditions, which weaken their body’s ability to fight infectious diseases.
We, as a society, need to come together and play our part to keep our seniors safe and protected from COVID-19.
You can help
On top of safe distancing measures, we should advise the seniors in our family and social circles to avoid crowded places as far as possible, and to remain vigilant in maintaining good personal hygiene.
This includes washing their hands frequently, and avoiding touching their face – especially the eyes, nose and mouth.
We should also advise our seniors to see a doctor if they feel unwell. They can visit any of the Public Health Preparedness Clinics (PHPC)
if they have respiratory illnesses (e.g. common cold), and only need to pay a flat subsidised rate of $10 for consultation and treatment. The same subsidies apply to polyclinics. Pioneer Generation and Merdeka Generation seniors will pay just $5.
Related article: I am showing respiratory symptoms (like a cough, runny nose, or fever), where should I go?
For those of us who are caregivers, or interacting with seniors in any capacity, we should also take extra care with our own personal hygiene. If you’re unwell, do avoid interacting with seniors, and only do so when you are better.
How seniors can stay active during this period
It is important that we help our seniors continue to stay active during this period.
Some organisers of senior-centric activities are making plans to deliver their programmes and activities online, so that seniors can continue to participate in the comfort of their own home.
One such initiative is a new video series done in collaboration between MCI, PA and SPH on zaobao.sg
that bring various exercise, singing, and even cooking activities to our seniors at home.
Measures to protect our seniors
Since 11 March 2020, the Government has suspended all senior-centric activities organised by Government agencies for two weeks, until 24 March 2020.
The suspension has been extended for another two weeks, until 7 April 2020.
These include activities at community clubs, residents’ committees, Senior Activities Centres, Active Ageing Hubs, CREST Centres, Health Promotion Board and ActiveSG sport centres.
Likewise, all organisers of activities that involve physical interactions amongst seniors should suspend the activities from 22 March to 7 April 2020.
These include senior-centric courses, activities and interest groups – such as yoga, ballroom dancing, group birdwatching – as well as events, performances, or gatherings targeted at seniors, for example, getai
Related article: Keeping a safe distance can lower the spread of COVID-19 - how do we do it?
Let’s all be socially responsible
Social responsibility is key to slowing the transmission of this virus.
While taking personal responsibility and staying safe ourselves, let’s play our part to encourage and care for the seniors in our midst.
For more details, check out MOH's advisory on precautionary measures for seniors.