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On this day, where people face a pandemic due to Coronavirus, mental health issues are becoming a significant concern, especially to older adults over 65. The sudden feeling of isolation and physical interaction loss due to safety precautions affect people’s mental health. And this situation is frustrating for both caregivers and elders. Thus, according to the recent report by Indiana University researchers, the association between isolation and depression has been moderated.
Though the effective strategy to fight COVID‐19 is social distancing, it is also a major cause of loneliness, particularly in nursing‐care or nursing homes, an independent risk factor for depression, anxiety disorders suicide. And even though technology and social media are the zones where people connect in these challenging times, most seniors are not familiar with smartphones, giving them a hard time connecting with others. It only proves the importance of social connectedness, not just for elders but also for everyone amidst public health breakdown.
However, older adults can still keep their minds healthy. So here are a few steps to maintain the elders’ mental health in top shape, amidst pandemic or not:
Maintain an Active Body
Exercise is one of the ways of keeping the elders’ bodies active. It is helpful to their psychological well-being regardless of where it’s practiced, either. A simple stroll outside, yet still social distancing, and greeting neighbors can help older adults maintain their body moving and socially engaged.
TV has various simple indoor workout courses, and YouTube lessons for older people also provide classes for all fitness ages. Few gyms sometimes provide Zoom lessons, where attendees can check up on their mobile devices.
Keep Social Engagements
Although hugs and kissing could be out of bounds due to safety precautions, there are several ways to be socially involved that do not require physical touch. Social connections are essential for cognitive well-being, sustained by chat and calls. Many people enjoy keeping in touch with old friends via Facebook, and reestablishing past relationships can be an excellent way of using indoor time.
Laughter is the Best Medicine
Experts also claim that fun is vital to our mental health, so take every chance to have fun in daily life. Most switches to social media sites specialized in funny animal posts, YouTube channels where people do outrageous things (not to be tried at home), or TV channels that air-runs old comedy sitcoms and television programs. Masks may conceal a grin, but the eyes are smiling, too.