For people 65 and up, life has gotten a lot more difficult during the times of coronavirus. Seniors and people with chronic illnesses are asked to stay home and protect themselves from the coronavirus. Self-isolation and social distancing are extremely important during this time, but it can take a heavy toll on seniors’ mental health and well-being.
Let’s be honest: it’s probably going to be tough. But here are some tips for surviving — hopefully, even thriving — while stuck at home.
Get Technologically Connected
Many seniors depend on activities at senior centers and volunteer work to keep them active and social, but there are many other ways to connect with people without being physically present.
Communication is perhaps the most important thing for older people to do during these isolated times. This is not only essential for their physical health, but it’s also essential for their mental health to keep in touch with loved ones.
Family members of isolated seniors should call them regularly. Also, if your older family member doesn’t know how to use video functions like FaceTime, help them figure it out.
Seniors should use devices that are specifically geared to older people to lower their barrier to entry. For seniors who can navigate a smartphone, apps like Facebook Messenger, Skype, and WhatsApp are easy enough to set up.
Change Up How You Volunteer and Exercise
Do you volunteer regularly? Well find out if there’s a way that you can do it over the phone now. Also, since going to the gym or a workout class is currently not an option, find a workout online or from streaming programs like Netflix.
Or … get outside! For now, local public health officials have not prohibited outdoor exercise. So take a walk. Just make sure you are six feet away from other people and avoid body fluids.Gardening or exercising in your yard, if you have one, are also good options.
Finally Pick Up Those Hobbies You’ve Been Putting Off
It’s a great time to pick up hobbies that have been on the backburner for a while, such as learning to play a musical instrument or taking an online class. The more we learn, the better our brains hold up. This isn’t anecdotal, it’s proven science.
Seniors that stay active – physically and mentally – are less likely to develop a cognitive decline condition. Thanks to the internet, there are tons of cool hobbies that seniors can hop right into without ever leaving the comfort of their own homes.
What You Can Do to Help?
If you’re younger and in good health, there are many ways to help without compromising a senior’s health:
- Pick up the phone and call a senior.
- Knock on your elderly neighbor’s door and ask what you can do for them. (Do they need groceries? Need their dog walked? Trash taken out?)
- Make a care package with things like food, books, puzzles.
- Volunteer for senior programs like Meals on Wheels.
(Article courtesy of Entrust of Desoto.)
Kelly’s Retirement Homes are an Assisted Living Facility that honors and respects our residents and treats them with dignity. We provide the highest possible quality of compassionate care while ensuring each resident’s right to privacy and choice in their daily lives.
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