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COVID-19 and the Elderly Support System in Urban India: Challenges and Concerns


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1 Associate Professor, Department of Applied Psychology, Sri Aurobindo College (Eve), University of Delhi, Delhi, India
     

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The world is grappling with Covid-19 pandemic for almost two years now. The human population has been affected at all strata in innumerable ways. The elderly seems to be the worst impacted not only at the physical health level but psychologically too. A meta-analytic understanding of elderly research clearly shows their high susceptibility to the pandemic conditions. The lockdown conditions led to a collapse of the social support networks enjoyed by the urban elderly population. The traditional roles of family members, relatives, domestic helps and paid caregivers as support systems, metamorphosised with the announcement of the lockdown. The study purports to understand the changed social support networks that the elderly population has used to satiate their physical, social and psychological needs during the lockdown period. A sample of the urban elderly population was studied for the social support networks using a standardized psychometric test. To understand the altered support systems during the pandemic lockdown a group of volunteers working with the elderly population was interviewed. This helped to understand the assistance provided by them for various needs expressed by the elderly population. The discussions and interviews have been taken as a source to develop a possible understanding of the elderly social support networks in the urban Indian settings for active ageing under modern critical conditions.

Keywords

social support network, active aging, gender differences, pandemic lockdown, volunteered support
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  • COVID-19 and the Elderly Support System in Urban India: Challenges and Concerns

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Authors

Monika Rikhi
Associate Professor, Department of Applied Psychology, Sri Aurobindo College (Eve), University of Delhi, Delhi, India

Abstract


The world is grappling with Covid-19 pandemic for almost two years now. The human population has been affected at all strata in innumerable ways. The elderly seems to be the worst impacted not only at the physical health level but psychologically too. A meta-analytic understanding of elderly research clearly shows their high susceptibility to the pandemic conditions. The lockdown conditions led to a collapse of the social support networks enjoyed by the urban elderly population. The traditional roles of family members, relatives, domestic helps and paid caregivers as support systems, metamorphosised with the announcement of the lockdown. The study purports to understand the changed social support networks that the elderly population has used to satiate their physical, social and psychological needs during the lockdown period. A sample of the urban elderly population was studied for the social support networks using a standardized psychometric test. To understand the altered support systems during the pandemic lockdown a group of volunteers working with the elderly population was interviewed. This helped to understand the assistance provided by them for various needs expressed by the elderly population. The discussions and interviews have been taken as a source to develop a possible understanding of the elderly social support networks in the urban Indian settings for active ageing under modern critical conditions.

Keywords


social support network, active aging, gender differences, pandemic lockdown, volunteered support

References