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25.03.2020 19:26 News >> Turkish Psychiatrists Advise Elderly Amid Pandemic

Turkish Psychiatrists Advise Elderly Amid Pandemic

Psychiatric Association of Turkey issues guidelines for elderly, relatives amid COVID 19 measures.

The Psychiatric Association of Turkey (PAT) released a set of guidelines on mental health for people above the age of 65 and their relatives, as well as others, as the novel coronavirus outbreak forces changing lifestyles.
Urging against listening to non-specialists, the online advice discouraged taking precautions and self-treatment with hearsay information.
It recommended that those over the age of 65 and those suffering from chronic illnesses in Turkey should abide by a recent order by authorities against leaving their homes.
The guidelines went on to say that these people, who are at higher risk of health complications if they contract the disease, should call loved ones for help with shopping, bills, food and medication.
"For emergencies, have the phone number of your family doctor, apartment bloc manager, close neighbors and local official ready at hand," it said, encouraging people to also get the contact information of local markets, butchers and pharmacies to order daily necessities by phone, and to wash hands and packages after receiving orders.
For elderly people who do not have relatives, live far away or suffer from illness, it urged the use of emergency public hotlines should the need arise.
The PAT said elderly people who have to spend time home must take care to have healthy diets and fluid intake, adding: "Follow your usual diet, do not neglect blood pressure and sugar control. Walk and exercise at home, try to do 5-10 minutes of walking and move several times at certain times of the day, not at once."
They should also be careful to follow a good sleep schedule, take medications on time, it added.
Recommendations for relatives
The PAT said it was critical that people plan ahead when assisting elderly family members and to ask other relatives or friends for help.
"Elderly individuals do not often ask for help because they do not want to burden their relatives, so ask about their needs without waiting for them to ask," it said.
Close contact with seniors must be avoided or cut short and hygiene must be a constant concern, it added.
"Call frequently, chat briefly. In these conversations, give correct information about the current situation, but also convey positive developments," it said, adding: "Do not ignore your own needs, take time to rest.
For others, the PAT recommended people not go out unless necessary.
"If you have elderly people living in your apartment or near you, you can shop, pay bills, buy medicines, etc. Offer help on these issues," it said.
After emerging in Wuhan, China last December, the coronavirus has spread to at least 172 countries and territories. The World Health Organization has declared coronavirus a pandemic.
The number of confirmed cases worldwide has now surpassed 436,000 while the death toll is over 19,800 and nearly 112,000 have recovered, according to data compiled by the U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University.
Despite the rising number of cases, most who contract the virus suffer only mild symptoms before making a recovery. -



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