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How are seniors coping with the pandemic?

By Herminia S. Jacinto

DEFINE seniors! In this article, I am referring to the definition of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases of “seniors,” which refer to individuals above the age of 65. I believe that compared to kids below 15, the seniors are the ones most affected by the current situation. Due to the restrictions in the movement of people, seniors are not allowed to go out except to get treatment, medicines and other “essentials.” No matter if they are allowed to go out to buy food and medicines, there is a lot of anxiety about catching the virus from these places. Drugstores such as Mercury and groceries offer online ordering and delivery services, but this takes some adjusting to. It is difficult to read the doctor’s prescription and repeat them to the drugstore attendant. Choosing the items they want to purchase in the grocery is a task which seniors do not want to delegate to others. They prefer to choose their own fruits, vegetables, snacks and chocolates!

At age 65 and above, they are retired from full-time jobs and maybe living independently from children who may have families of their own already. In their places of work or even at home when the young ones were still around, there was always someone to handle the computers, check bank balances, order medicines online and other tasks requiring technology. Now they have to do all of this and learn all the tricky processes. How does one use QR codes or pay using GCash? Can he withdraw his Social Security System pension without falling on line in the bank? Many pensioners prefer to still have a passbook where they can track their balances. They are quite insecure about using the ATM cards. We hope that the banks can have someone ready to assist seniors with their problems. Young people are very adept with computers, cellphones and other gadgets. I hope they can offer their assistance to senior neighbors on how to do things online. The seniors too should not be shy to ask for assistance and exert efforts to learn the technology. It is never too late. Keep on learning!


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