The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the quality of life of the elderly population
Keywords:COVID-19, Depression, Elderly, Geriatrics, Health-related quality of life, Lockdown, Physical activity
Background/Aim: The elderly population were most exposed to lockdowns worldwide. Lockdown causes many disorders in people's daily routines, and the elderly suffer the most from these disorders. Our aim is to investigate the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic, which we do not know how long will last, on the psychological status and quality of life (QOL) of the elderly population. Methods: A total of 226 male and female volunteers over the age of 65 years and with a score above 21 in the Minimental test were included in this cross-sectional study. QOL scale SF-36 and Geriatrics Depression Scale were performed to the participants. Results: One hundred and twenty-five (55.3%) of the participants were male, 101 (44.7%) were female, and the mean age was 69.2 (4.4) years. A significant decrease was observed in all SF-36 QOL subscale scores during the pandemic compared to before (P<0.001). Compared to those not diagnosed with COVID-19, physical functioning, role limitations due to emotional problems and physical health, general health, and pain scores were decreased significantly among those diagnosed with COVID-19 (P<0.05 for all). In 67 of the 226 cases (29.6%), deterioration was observed in their health status in terms of depression during the pandemic compared to before (P<0.001). Conclusion: The pandemic should not be dealt with medical treatment only, but precautions should be taken to increase the QOL. For this, the factors that determine the QOL are important. Telemedicine should be widely used in the elderly, social and physical activity should be increased, and videoconferences should be made.
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