Big push to get the elderly online

Big push to get the elderly online

Learning about digital technology and modern communication will help improve elderly people's access to emergency assistance and enable them to keep abreast of changes in society, attendees of a recent seminar learned.

In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, elderly people in many countries, especially those aged between 70 and 80, were not receiving the medical care they needed, said Sasipat Yodpet, a social science professor and specialist on the National Committee on Elderly People.

She was speaking at a recent seminar on lessons learned from healthcare services provided to those affected by Covid-19 and the crisis of healthcare security brought on by the pandemic. The forum was jointly held by the Thai Gerontology Research and Development Institute Foundation and the Thai Health Promotion Foundation.

The professor noted several countries have been developing mechanisms to get their senior citizens to learn about digital technology to stay connected with other people.

Australia, for instance, distributes computer tablets to low-income elderly people and offers them free internet connection, she said. The connectivity comes in handy for elderly people who can seek immediate, online help in case they need emergency assistance.

Thai schools are offering computer and social media courses to elderly people in the hope of improving their access to help during crises, she said.

Chintana Chanbamrung, inspector-general of the Social Affairs Ministry, said Thailand has set a high standard in health services offered to the elderly during the coronavirus outbreak.

Medical care organisations, a strong civil society network and health volunteers deserve credit for developing a comprehensive healthcare system that gives elderly people access to care during the crisis, Sakarn Bunnag, director of the Institute of Geriatric Medicine of Department of Medical Services said.

A Chiang Rai school is said to offer more than 100 courses to elderly students.

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