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After the COVID-19 pandemic, senior wellness and health have become an important topic of discussion in families, hospitals, and other health care centers. As seniors are especially vulnerable to serious complications from coronavirus infection, the attention to keeping them safe is a wise move. However, many assisted living professionals and family caregivers also warn about the side effects of social isolation for seniors, like anxiety, general loneliness, and depression. Read along to know how the pandemic situation is affecting the mental health of seniors and ways to overcome it.
We have been following social distancing to decrease the likelihood of spreading the pandemic. Unluckily, social distancing can lead to feelings of loneliness and social isolation. In the case of seniors, loneliness and isolation can result in physical and mental health repercussions. This can include anxiety, depression, obesity, and even death.
Always remember that social distancing does not mean avoiding communication completely. You should keep your senior loved one connected to others while reducing the risk of coronavirus transmission. Even if your senior loved one is in an assisted living facility, you could still visit your loved one outdoors while maintaining a distance of six feet. If your senior loved one is living with your family, you can encourage them to wave to neighbors walking their dogs. These small interactions can keep seniors feeling connected to people around them, without the risk of contracting infections.
Elderly adults with a history of anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues might not schedule or attend regular mental health check-ups. If you are worried that your senior loved one is showing signs of anxiety or depression, or if they have a history of mental health issues, you can help them schedule a telehealth session with a psychiatrist, counselor, or other mental health professional. Most insurance providers are now loosening their guidelines on virtual visits due to the coronavirus pandemic and mental health check-ups making use of telehealth services are effective.
Seniors who are feeling much lonely at home during this challenging time can move to senior living communities. Memory care and assisted living are two of the most popular kinds of senior living communities. Both these options share many similarities that family members often wonder about the best option for their senior loved ones. The choice solely depends on the situation and the health condition of your senior loved one.