Everyone is feeling the stress lately given the amount of time we are expected to spend indoors. Seniors who live by themselves, or couples that don’t see their family often are already at increased risk of feeling socially isolated. You might have someone in your family, or you might be a senior who is experiencing this exact scenario.
So what are seniors doing given the current situation and how do they cope with the pandemic?
Communication with family
Thankfully, even though many of us are committed to socially distancing ourselves from one another, we still have the benefit of technology as a tool of communication. Seniors can benefit from regular communication with their families, so make sure you pick up the phone and give them a call. Even though we might not be able to see each other face to face, being able to talk about the COVID-19 situation can ease anxieties. Seniors are far more likely to suffer from depression due to social isolation and face anxiety. In order to cope, they should try to stay as social as possible while still remaining distant from others. In some senior homes, individuals were communicating through a window to their loved ones.
Being prepared for retirement
Obviously the more prepared you are financially when you’re ready to stop working, the better you’re able to cope with an event like Covid-19. Especially considering so many individuals have been laid off, and are in the process of working reduced hours. Ian Bond, a private banking senior executive at MyRetirementRehab states that there are multiple ways to become more adequately prepared for retirement at any time. For instance, you could consider retiring in a country with a lower cost of living and utilize the current lockdown to research and prepare important things. The less stress you have about the financial burden you incur, the better you’re going to be able to enjoy your life.
Read More: How Does COVID-19 Compare With Seasonal Flu?
Taking a break from the news
It’s easy to get enamored by the numerous news reports, especially if you are a senior with limited contact with the outside world. Sometimes we need to take a break from the news and the negativity that it’s portraying. It is important to stay informed for sure, but paying too much attention to the news can cause us to become overly worried, anxious, and stressed about situations that are out of our control. Try to focus your attention on a task that makes you happy, or get things done in the house or the yard if that’s a possibility for you. Talking with your doctor
Talking with your doctor
If you’re experiencing an unhealthy amount and stress and anxiety that’s making it difficult to cope, you should talk to your doctor. Because many seniors might not be seeing as many people face to face, they are more at risk of seeing the cost of detrimental mental health. Mental health is also an issue that’s often overlooked in senior adults, who have a more traditional perspective on dealing with these conditions. If you know a senior who’s having a hard time, try having a talk with them about their worries. Direct them towards the assistance of a medical professional if the situation is dire enough. Many doctors are performing appointments by phone now, so you won’t need to worry about them being in contact with anyone ill.
Doing something they love
There are still plenty of things that we can do in order to keep ourselves occupied during the COVID-19 crisis. Even though we might not be able to meet in public like we used to, going for a solo walk, or reading a book is still on the table. If you know a senior who wants to engage in activities they love, but don’t have the materials on hand, there are a few things that you can do. You can disinfect the materials after washing your hands and leave them at their doorstep. Or you can mail a book or something else to their house directly, without having to put them in harm’s way.
We can all do our part by adhering to social distancing rules, but we can also improve our community by helping out our seniors. If you are a senior looking to cope, some of these ideas and methods might be useful to you. You know your family best if you know something that your senior would rather be doing at home than just watching the news, help them out. It can go a long way to making someone’s day brighter, and it’s usually not a huge expense on the wallet. It doesn’t take much to pick up the phone and reach out to a loved one, we’re all at home anyway, we might as well spend the time bonding with our families.