Elderly must conquer their virus fears and get out more, doctors say

Isolation is becoming a greater threat to the elderly than the coronavirus, according to geriatric medicine experts, as many people are frightened to return to their previous activities despite being completely vaccinated. Loneliness, hunger, dehydration, and fractured bones as a result of falls are all on the rise, according to experts, because many older people refuse to leave their homes, even when the infection rate is low. ‘We are seeing patients who are displaying early signs of dementia who are rapidly decreasing and need to go into a home,’ said Arend Arends, chairman of the Dutch Association of Geriatricians (NVKG).

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‘Older folks who do not exercise enough are more prone to fall and break something. I appreciate their concerns, but isolation is posing a greater health risk than the coronavirus. It is quite safe to venture out and do stuff.’ While social distance is still vital, and large-scale events should be avoided, geriatric specialist Karen Keijsers warns that the elderly should not become too accustomed to an empty social calendar. ‘Now we find more significant sickness among the elderly because they have ceased completing their daily routines or because they believe there is nothing left to live for,’ she told the newspaper.

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