Hello folks, I have considerably expanded the Asha Covid-19 public Health activities for the Elderly in our care in all the Asha communities. They have been suffering from great physical and emotional neglect, and it is sad to see them suffering like this during these years of their lives.
May we bring joy in the lives of each of them, make them feel loved and cared for, valued and appreciated.”
Vitamin D Deficiency in the elderly has become a critical issue to address during the pandemic.
Most elderly in the slums already suffer from it due to a diet poor in Vitamin D content. However the problem has been aggravated because during the pandemic the elderly have no exposure to sunlight, and their diet is highly deficient in Vitamin D. Those over 70 need 800 IU per day.
As the skin of the elderly thins with age, the synthesis of Vitamin D becomes much less efficient. Reduced appetite and impaired absorption of nutrients further compounds the problem.
The way it is manifesting in the elderly during the Covid-19 pandemic is:
– their muscles are becoming weak. They feel heaviness in their legs and have difficulty standing up. Their risk of falls and fractures has increased to dangerous levels. – Vitamin D regulates immune function and the release of neurotransmitters in the brain that regulate mood. ( Dopamine and Serotonin). The elderly who are feeling depressed and tired all the time may actually be suffering from Vitamin D deficiency. They may suffer from cognitive decline and be at greater risk for developing various forms of dementia. – They may feel tired all the time, and have widespread pain in areas like the shoulders, pelvis, rib cage and lower back, leaving them feeling drained. – Low levels of Vitamin D may be a causative factor in Inflammatory Bowel Disease. This can make matters worse, since Vitamin D is a fat soluble Vitamin, and if bowel diseases interfere with the absorption of dietary fat, the deficiency of Vitamin D will worsen.
The combination of symptoms caused by low Vitamin D, such as fatigue, pain and depression can easily be misdiagnosed or written off as inevitable side effects of ageing.
Asha has begun giving 60,000 IU of Vitamin D3 weekly to all seniors 65 and above. Many patients are already stating that they are feeling much better. The reversal of symptoms can be fast.
Hello friends, these days my team and I have the care of the elderly in our slum communities as a major focus. This pandemic has caused them to suffer from hunger, disease, deficiency of micronutrients, and loneliness and depression.
The Asha team and warriors are holding special clinics where every elderly person is lovingly looked after. All their health parameters are carefully studied, and appropriate medications given free of cost.
Grocery bags are being given regularly to every elderly person who has no support. There are many such persons who are living alone with no family member to care for them.
I have recently extended our Supplementary Feeding Program to each elderly person who is undernourished. They enjoy their daily visits to the Asha centers where not only do they enjoy nutritious food, but also build social connections in a loving and safe environment.
I have begun giving them Vitamin D supplements that are absolutely critical to their health, specially because they stay indoors all the time due to COVID-19 and hardly have any exposure to sunlight.
I will say more about the Vitamin D supplementation in my next post. I’m sure you will agree that we must all stand together with the elderly in every way not only through this pandemic, but also beyond, being Ambassadors of love to them, and bringing joy into their lives everyday.
Last night I had a wonderful Zoom session with the entire Asha team.
I first affirmed each of them for an amazing job they have all done during the toughest of circumstances in this pandemic. On the call were not only the teams working in the slum communities, but also the finance team, communications team, admin team, and the support staff including all the drivers and the maids. All of them have worked and are continuing to work exceedingly hard.
I then spoke about:
1. The benefits of positive emotions.
2. How we can cultivate positive emotions.
Benefits. I shared that:
1. They change our outlook. They open our minds. The way we look at situations changes. We almost always find ways, we never ever quit.
2. We face our difficulties and challenges more easily. We become more resilient.
3. We see past cultural and racial differences. We see our common humanity.
4. We become more creative. We get new ideas.
5. They strengthen our relationships and develop trust. They make us look for the best in others.
6. They make us better persons. The nature we are born with can change for the better as we cultivate them.
7. They help us to make the best decisions. They give us wisdom when there are tough choices to make.
8. They lower anxiety, worry, and mental disturbances.
What a wonderful list of scientifically proven benefits.
Next I shared with them on how we can cultivate positive emotions:
Cultivating them is not easy. It requires daily practice, and then it becomes a habit.
1. Surround ourselves with more positive people than negative.
2. Practise Affirmation exercises with family, friends, and co-workers. ( I have taught them these exercises before)
3. Consciously fill our minds with good thoughts, so there is no room for negative thoughts. Our brains cannot hold positive and negative thoughts together.
4. Create an environment of Joy.
5. Practice Gratitude exercises.
6. Look for the good in others and validate them rather than criticize them.
7. Guard our tone, our voice, our tongue, being quick to listen and slow to speak.
We can either languish from day to day, or we can flourish and live life fully!
Immediately following on from the Zoom meeting, the teams began to celebrate and practice in many ways.
They cooked and ate together, affirmed one another, made expressions of gratitude, everyone on the teams coming together. And they told me they had a wonderful time and felt so energized. They felt like loving more, and being more compassionate. They found that the problems they had magnified in their minds, felt small. There was fun and laughter in the slum communities in the midst of the pandemic.