Healthy seniors can protect themselves from the virus through social distancing. Restrictions are ordered in people with dementia and those who might not understand the new rules. Elderly people who stay at home may also feel more isolated especially those with family living far away or unable to visit. Even though these measures are needed to protect them, it also creates the risk of another problem which is loneliness.
Caring for senior relatives and friends begins with following all the recommendations from health officials in your community. It is equally important to take steps to keep them from feeling isolated.
Keep In Touch
It is not always easy even though it may seem obvious. Some elders are not comfortable with the technology that can keep them connected. It is okay that seniors will be engaged on the phone but it is recommended that they will be into a conversation with a specific shared memory to reminisce. It is very important to end the talk with a reminder that you all call again soon. Also, you can still be connected with your other relatives or friends via video calls to see their faces and spaces in real-time.
A Daily Routine
Give yourself some structure, even if you aren’t going anywhere. Wake-up, take meals, and go to bed at the same time and the same way each day. It will give you something to anticipate and keeps the mind busy and engaged. You can also get dressed each morning and consider doing some physical activity at a scheduled time. Meditating consistently is also extremely beneficial for mental health. You can have at least 20 minutes to help decrease anxiety and stress. It also improves concentration and sleep. There is also research suggesting that meditation may offset an age-related cognitive decline in seniors.
Break From The News
Hearing about the pandemic nonstop, like any negative news, can be anxiety-inducing, so take frequent breaks from watching, reading, and listening to news stories, including social media. It’s great to stay informed about matters affecting your health, but it becomes counter-productive if it erodes your mental health! Too much screen time can also tire out your eyes and disturb your sleep if you need more reasons to tear yourself away.
Be kind to yourself and others. Everyone is feeling a sense of loss and grief because the world has changed so much even in a short period. Some people may be grieving for the loss of their loved ones due to the virus so be gentle and non-critical of yourself. You may need to give yourself tasks that keep you going and will make you busy.
Get A Good Night’s Sleep
Sleep and mental well-being are closely connected. Losing sleep negatively affects your mental health and these mental health issues are likely to cause more sleep loss. Consider having a consistent time of bed and waking up each day and turn off your gadgets an hour before you sleep.