The older population and the COVID-19 pandemic: The case of Croatia
Keywords:COVID-19, older population, Croatia, narrative about the elderly, exclusion
The probability of older people contracting COVID-19 is high, and the disease in this population is in a significant percentage of cases accompanied by severe symptoms that can be fatal. Unlike numerous European countries, Croatia introduced epidemiological measures during the first and second waves of the disease that were no more rigorous for the elderly living in their own homes than those for the general population. However, the urge to stay at home and maintain physical distancing has significantly altered the daily lives of all senior citizens. At the same time, very strict measures were introduced for older residents living in nursing homes during both waves. This paper aims to analyse the differences between the lifestyles of the elderly living in their own homes and those accommodated in nursing homes in the context of the epidemiological measures implemented, and to analyse the dominant narrative about the elderly during the COVID-19 pandemic in Croatia. News stories focusing on the elderly exclusively in terms of care, (in)security, and illness(es) construct a position that further excludes, isolates, and intimidates them. In doing so, most attention is paid to problems within social and health institutions (nursing homes and hospitals), while the elderly living in their own homes are largely marginalised.
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Published by the Institute of Social Sciences - Center for Demographic Research