Senior Citizens and Mental Health During Covid-19

As one of the most high-risk groups susceptible to the coronavirus, senior citizens are also facing serious threats to their psychological well-being. Being 65 and older already comes with many struggles often overlooked or dismissed, and the effects of COVID-19 on seniors’ mental health requires specialized care.

Beyond acknowledging and managing any fear or anxiety they’re currently experiencing, we believe that counseling should also provide senior citizens with support, encouragement and practical tips to stay active during quarantine.

Another nationwide lockdown could still happen, but even if it doesn’t, seniors are still going to be forced to remain socially distanced and isolated for a longer period of time. Until COVID-19 has become manageable, we must provide alternatives to help seniors continue to live a fulfilling existence. Below are three core areas every senior citizen should be addressing as part of their on-going wellness plan.

Physical Activity

Exercise and movement raises our spirits, can reduce chronic pain and provides a healthy outlet for troubling emotions. It’s easy for stress, depression and anxiety to run high when stuck sitting in the same place for a long period of time; although opportunity to go outdoors may still be limited, there are a number of free online fitness videos for seniors that can be done at home.

Mental Stimulation

To prevent cognitive decline and ward off feelings of depression and anxiety, seniors should stay mentally engaged with a variety of problem-solving activities. Being cooped up indoors, they may want to simply sit and watch television all day or listen to the radio. This is fine in certain amounts, but they should also partake in activities that use their brain, like knitting and crocheting, arts and crafts, puzzles and even certain video games.

Social Interactions

Connection is crucial to good mental health, especially for seniors who are living more isolated due to the coronavirus. They miss their family, seeing the grandkids and being able to talk with their friends. Some may also be coping with grief from losing friends or relatives to the virus; daily phone calls, video chatting and emails or text messages can provide an ongoing sense of connection despite social distancing.

Family members can also have drive-by greetings that allow seniors to still see their loved ones and chat from afar. Virtual counseling can also be a valuable resource to seniors during the pandemic; beyond receiving advice and treatment for any mental health problems, a counselor is also simply there to listen and provide a comforting presence.

Contact Foundations Family Counseling today to schedule an appointment with one of our compassionate counselors.

Follow us on Facebook, here.