Home Research Activities COVID19 and the Wellbeing of Older People in the Middle East

COVID19 and the Wellbeing of Older People in the Middle East

The role of physical activities and the use of technology to enhance older people's wellbeing in the Middle East during COVID19 Pandemic: A pilot study Informal carers in Egypt are one of the main groups of large access and use of mobile phones in Egypt, and the use of apps such as WhatsApp and Facebook are widespread. For example, mobile shipments to Egypt were 14.9 million units in 2019 alone, with 72% being smartphones. This project aims to capitalise on the use of smartphones and apps to provide a timely and unique platform for information, advice and service dedicated to ensuring the health and wellbeing of older people through the following activities that will be brought together under one online platform. Egypt, similar to many other LMIC, suffers from poor infrastructure and support for older people. The COVID19 pandemic presents an unprecedented situation where older people and those with long term care needs are forced to self-isolate in homes. Utilising social media, telemedicine and the online platform becomes necessary within such a situation to maintain the physical and mental wellbeing of older people. The project consisted of four main activities:

  1. Piloting a virtual doctor ‘Doctori’ platform, an initiative to connect older people and their carers to doctors online
  2. Developing and producing physical training instruction video specific to older people at home during quarantine and beyond. These are aimed at both older people and carers to support them.
  3. Conducting scoping research on the use of telecare simple devices in monitoring and supporting older people’s health.
  4. Developing a Facebook Group ‘our elderly health at home’, hosting the above activities and providing signposting to relevant charities and organisations and a platform for communications with carers.
Research team: Professor Shereen Hussein (PI) in collaboration with Dr Mohamed Salama at the American University in Cairo, Sport Makers and Arrow Systems, Cairo, Egypt. Funding: The University of Kent, Global Challenges Research Fund, Emergency research Fund.