Depression, Mental Health and Covid 19 –
Help Seniors Deal with Isolation and Depression During The Pandemic
Seniors can be more susceptible to depression and anxiety due to life events and health changes. The coronavirus pandemic this year certainly has not helped. Here are some ways to temper the effects of isolation:
Treat Sleep Problems
Lack of sleep aggravates depression and anxiety. Try to keep a regular sleep schedule and bedtime routine. Avoid taking naps. Talk to your health professional about your difficulty sleeping. Possibly medication is appropriate.
Promote A Sense of Purpose
Take up a hobby like knitting or art. Seek out religious services online, if faith is important. These can help with depression from loneliness and isolation.
You may be tired of hearing that exercise is good for you, but your body was meant to move! Practice social distance while you try tai-chi or yoga. Or try an exercise video designed for seniors if you can’t get out. Being physically active helps with depression.
Watch What You Eat
Seniors should try to eat more fiber-rich foods like fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and lean proteins to feel their best.
Seek Professional Help
If you feel your depression or anxiety is worsening, professional help might be needed. AW Health Care can help! Talk to one of our home health nurses about how you feel. She can connect you with the right medical or caregiving resources. Call Us! (314) 330-7992
Seniors have been found to be most at risk of contracting the virus and becoming critically ill as a result. The most suggested measure to reduce risk is to maintain physical distance from others. This has increased the isolation of seniors and has affected their mental health especially feelings of depression.
“Loneliness amongst the older population will be a much more insidious cause of casualty than we previously realized,” says Matthew L. Russell, MD, a geriatrician and palliative care specialist at Massachusetts General Hospital.
How Can I Help?
As a friend or family member your good communications can help. If you suspect a loved one or friend is suffering from isolation or depression, contact them and ask how they feel. It’s OK to feel forgotten, fearful or lonely. It’s important to convey a feeling of compassion for them.
Ask about how he/she is eating, sleeping. Find ways to connect while being physically apart. Pick up the phone and make a call. Write cards or letters. Arrange for an unexpected act of kindness. You can have a surprise food or personal care item delivered.
Virtual doctor/nurse visits have been helpful to isolated and depressed seniors. Medical professionals can see the home environment and understand better how environment affects individual health.