Seniors have been in lockdown mode for nearly a year. Isolation from family and lack of organized group activities have increased depression in senior adults that do not have the resources to handle the stress of social engagement. Technology has a significant role in how older adults engage with family or can access activities to make their life more fulfilling during COVID-19.
The pandemic has tested everyone in ways we could never imagine. Older adults are fearful of the unknown and how it will affect their ability to get medical care when they need it. The estrangement from family and inability to have a plan to know the future elevates anxiety showing in lack of sleep, loss of appetite, racing heart, nausea, or a possible increase in medication. Shortness of breath from an anxiety attack is much different from COVID symptoms. An anxiety attack lasts no more than 30 minutes and will not accompany other symptoms.
To prevent anxiety, it is recommended that seniors maintain a healthy diet, get physical activity (even if only walking in home), journal, and try to re-connect with family or loved ones. If your senior is tech savvy turn off the phone or computer for a while to prevent hearing disconcerting stories. Speak with them in a calm voice acknowledging their fears but not paying tribute to them. Encourage engagement in reading, puzzles, or cognitive activities to divert their attention. Get assistance from a medical professional if anxiety persists with prolonged lack of activities, sleep, or eating.
Studies have shown that enhancing compassion may reduce loneliness and promote a greater well-being. Practicing kindness to others, actively listening, and practicing self-care have shown to reduce anxiety.
Depression is a serious condition. Currently 1 in 4 adults show signs of depression since the lockdown orders in March 2020. Watch for symptoms and contact a medical professional if your loved one shows continual symptoms.
Comforts of Home is your local professional resource for your loved one’s senior care at their home. Contact us for assistance or questions at (936) 647-0674. www.YourComfortsofHome.com