Covid-19 – Experience of seniors in isolation
The Covid-19 epidemic is ranging worldwide. Health authorities and the CDC have proposed a number of safety measures in order to slow down (or prevent) the spread. These measures include frequent and thorough hygiene, wearing protective face masks and most importantly keeping a safe physical distance.
In addition to this, experts also recommend isolation to those that are particularly at high risk from this infection i.e. those with already compromised immune systems and seniors. It is highly recommended that they stay at home whenever possible and to rely on the help of others when it comes to regular daily shopping.
Since humans are by nature social beings and social interactions are a big part of our lives, isolation can be pretty difficult for some of us. We use social interactions to share our experience, talk about the things that happen that day (or in the near past) and seek comfort in troubling times. But, since that safety mechanism is now somewhat limited, developing anxiety or depression is a quite common occurrence.
Anxiety among seniors during Covid-19
Anxiety is a perfectly normal reaction to uncertain things. The coronavirus is making our future quite uncertain so seniors often worry about their own health and the health of their loved ones. And since we can’t normally partake in social activities to relieve some of the anxiety, it’s possible that anxiety might worsen.
In these uncertain times, it’s important to be kind to yourself. Know that you’re not the only one experiencing some level of anxiety and it is okay to feel more anxious than usual.
Anxiety is a natural reaction to the pandemic, but too much of it can have detrimental effects on your health and can cause serious harm. Too much anxiety can lead to panic, which hinders our rational thinking and some people might go a bit overboard on safety precautions or start behaving recklessly.
So it’s truly important that you first take care of your own mental health. You can do this by staying informed on the current development of the situation and to take the necessary precautions in order to prevent the spread of the infection.
If necessary, you should also cut back on time you spend on social media in order to avoid information overload. Instead, try reading a book or doing some other activities that will take your mind off of things.
Depression among seniors during Covid-19
Anxiety, combined with isolation, daily bad news and economic uncertainty can have a huge impact on senior’s mood. According to some research study, nearly 50% of all interviewed think that the pandemic has serious impact on their mental health. All these mixed up emotions can often trigger depression.
When suffering from depression, people see their life to be hopeless and bleak. They see no point in it. Depression hinders your ability to think straight, drains great amounts of your energy and you can’t seem to make it through the day.
Dealing with depression can be tough. You need to find the energy and motivation that will get you going and keep you on the path to recovery.
Distracting yourself in order to avoid negative thought is one of the first things someone can do in order to gain back control of their emotions. Find something that will add meaning and purpose to your life, no matter how small it is. This can be literally anything, like learning something new, taking on a hobby etc.
Furthermore, seniors should try and find joy in life’s simple things. Don’t try and push yourself to have fun, but push yourself towards things that will uplift your mood like listening to uplifting music, watching funny videos or sitcoms and spending time outside if you can.
Cut back on the news is something you should probably do first. Even though you are aware that the situation is serious and you accept that, you don’t need a constant daily reminder by sensationalistic news, unreliable media coverage that will further fuel your negativity.
How can FaceTime help?
Isolating yourself from others can have negative impacts on your mood. And since conventional methods of staying in touch with others aren’t possible, you need to think outside the box and look for alternative ways to stay connected and seek help if your struggling with either anxiety or depression.
In the era of modern technology, there’s an abundance of solutions and ways you can stay in touch with your friends, family and also ways to reach mental health experts in case you need help coping. One of these is FaceTime.
FaceTime is one of the most popular applications for videotelephony that allows you to make video calls. Various research says that video technology, such as FaceTime, can significantly lower the risk of depression and help seniors to cope with isolation. Furthermore, video calls with friends and family can create a sense of well-being, develop strong sense of connection and help older population moving forward. When you FaceTime with others make sure that your conversations aren’t just based on small talk and superficial topics. Go deeper and open up.
Now we understand that seniors aren’t all tech-savvy and new things don’t come easy to them as they do to younger population. We encourage them to rely on their family (mostly children or grandchildren) to help them out, see if they have a spare phone or tablet they can use and set those up for them. Do whatever you can to master the technology (it’s quite user-friendly) and be as independent as possible.
At this uncertain time, connections are more important than ever. There’s only so much texting and phone calls can do. But face-to-face connection, even if it’s virtual, can go a long way with helping establish a sense of normal and battle anxiety or depression.