“There is nothing like neighbourhood”: Kadıköy Municipality’s support to the elderly in the face of the pandemic

According to the World Health Organization, persons over 60 years old are at a significantly increased risk of severe illness if they contract COVID-19. Today, they account for the great majority of coronavirus deaths worldwide.

Due to the threats and challenges the elderly face in the context of the pandemic, specific support measures should be taken to ensure that they comply with confinement measures adopted to counter the spread of the virus and that, at the same time, their basic needs are met.

Since the very beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak in Turkey, the Municipality of Kadıköy has taken specific inclusive measures aimed at leaving no one behind. One of the main ones is the “Stay At Home, Save Lives” campaign, which includes a wide array of local initiatives aimed at ensuring that citizens stay home during the pandemic.

One of the main target groups of the campaign is the elderly in need and those living alone. The municipality has established the Corona Crisis Desk aimed at supporting this segment of the population during the coronavirus curfew and home confinement measures. A hotline has been set up for the elderly to allow them to request the delivery of hot meals at home. Demands of citizens are evaluated by Municipality staff based on specific criteria relating to social and health conditions such as living alone, poverty, disability, being elderly, having chronic diseases, etc. Hot meals are also distributed to those in need under the motto “There is nothing like neighbourhood”.

As a result of this initiative, the elderly of Kadıköy, known for its appealing food market, benefit from a unique service resulting from successful collaboration between the public and private sectors.
Aware of the importance of a healthy diet during the confinement, the popular nutritionist Dilara Koçak has elaborated healthy menus. These are cooked every day in the restaurant of the municipality by famous chefs. These meals are subsequently delivered by staff respecting social distance rules and taking all the necessary health measures.

This initiative not only aims at meeting the basic needs of this isolated group, but also gives people moral support in these difficult times.

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