How can we convince/approach the Elderly with this topic?
Convincing your loved ones to get vaccinated can be a daunting task. Understandably, many of us struggle with this topic and find it difficult to approach them and talk to them about this issue. This article serves to provide you with some basic tips which have proven effective through research in persuading/approaching the elderly with sensitive issues like COVID-19 Vaccinations. We hope that this article serves you well.
- Picking the right opportunities. It is easy to get stressed amidst this pandemic, especially for seniors who are more likely to feel the effects of social isolation. When approaching them, try to find the right atmosphere where they are likely to be more receptive. Find moments when they are in a happier mood, maybe after a meal or while they are doing an activity they particularly enjoy.
- Empathy. Start off by understanding their fears with regards to getting vaccinated. This is vital as their opinions/fears may be a result of misinformation or misunderstandings that stem from one-off cases which are not representative of the wider population. Some elderly may not be as well read and up-to-date on current news and developments making them more susceptible to believing misinformation which they may see online or through word-of-mouth from those around them. Lastly, be aware of your ultimate goal. Ultimately, we do not need to get them to agree with us. Rather, we it is about providing the correct and accurate information for them to make a better decision for themselves, to get vaccinated.
- Be well informed. Information is power! Ensure that you are reading from reliable sources such as the Ministry of Health’s website prior to approaching your senior!. Statistics show that elderly tend to increasingly trust their family members over outlets such as government websites or news articles. In order for them to be well-informed about the importance of getting vaccinated, it is equally important for you to have the necessary knowledge needed to address their concerns before sharing with them the knwoeldge.
- Unvaccinated individuals may be at risk of more serious complications should they get COVID-19. There is a risk of serious, life-threatening disease and death from COVID-19 infection, especially in the elderly and other vulnerable groups (e.g. persons with comorbidities). Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is one way to prevent the disease, minimise the risk of transmission, and prevent our healthcare system from being overwhelmed. This allows them to protect themselves as well as their loved ones. Thus, by getting vaccinated, we help out by:
- Provide protection for the majority of our population. A population with high vaccination coverage against COVID-19 will indirectly protect those who are unable to receive COVID-19 vaccination (e.g. severely immunocompromised individuals, subgroups such as children where safety data is not available), as the risk of transmission of the disease will be greatly reduced.
- Reducing the risk of serious life-threatening disease and death from the COVID-19 infection
- It is ultimately their decision. Reassure them of the benefits and make use of videos online such as the video by the Singapore Prime Minister encouraging the elderly to get vaccinated. You can also find pro vaccination videos by other ministers as well as celebrities/well-known personalities with whom they are familiar with and respect.
- Don’t be afraid to seek help or guidance. Just like the national efforts in fighting this pandemic, teamwork is essential! Work with your relatives and friends when talking to your elderly loved ones. Hearing them sound out their collective concern in a loving manner may serve to help. Do not be hesitant to approach medical professionals or the gov.sg COVID-19 interactive chat bot. You may even call the Caregivers for Seniors (AIC Hotline) at 1800 650 6060 for further assistance, good luck!
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