Due to the prevailing pandemic of the coronavirus disease COVID-19, we are experiencing emotional and social isolation, which negatively affects mental and physical health, particularly among the elderly population. In this study, we performed a cross-sectional analysis based on computer-assisted telephone interviews of 500 Polish adults aged 60 years or older in order to determine the impact of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic on the older population’s behavior, life activity, and delivery of healthcare services. According to our study, COVID-19 infection entailed a substantial change in older people’s behavior. Over 50%, nearly 80%, and more than 25% of the surveyed participants reduced their social, recreational, and professional activities, respectively. The most significant change in senior’s behavior due to the fear of COVID-19 infection was observed in patients (1) with cardiac and pulmonary problems, (2) being on multi-drug therapy, (3) vaccinated against influenza, and (4) with several mental difficulties including loneliness, social isolation, and depression. Furthermore, we demonstrated that 10% of participants canceled planned hospitalization due to the fear of COVID-19 infection. This was observed primarily in patients suffering from chronic heart and lung diseases, vaccinated against influenza, exhibiting the reluctance to carry out more complex daily activities, and with a higher level of anxiety, social loneliness, and malnutrition. Thus, these groups of seniors require more attention; hence, we propose telemedicine as a strategy directed to them that provides clinical healthcare and information regarding measurements, control, and protection against SARS-CoV-2 during the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic. We believe this strategy may improve treatment outcomes, reduce comorbidities-related complications and unnecessary hospitalizations.
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