The pandemic has been difficult and stressful for us all, but add isolation and confusion to the already vulnerable senior population, the combination can be volatile. Inflicting fear and anxiety in anyone, seniors have higher risk factors and the global impact forces strict social distancing on everyone, especially at senior living communities. The social isolation, although beneficial from a health standpoint, has now affected the senior community with a major psychological impact. Risk factors for social isolation include depression, anxiety, panic attacks, stress-induced illness, suicidal ideation and substance abuse.
Stress and anxiety, for example, has been proven to weaken the immune system, which is tragic amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The double-edged sword between isolation for COVID-19 prevention, and at the same time needing to prevent seniors from actively engaging within their communities and families can create a very quick decline in the health of seniors. Fortunately, there are proven ways for families and senior living communities to rally against social isolation to decrease the psychological risk factors.
Seniors who add structure to a day to encourage scheduling routines and schedules help the mind and body. Creating a specific time for meals and focusing on their preparation and enjoyment can add many smiles. Finding a specific time to go outdoors to enjoy a socially distanced walk, spending some time in the garden, and bird watching are just a few examples to keep psychological risks at bay. Additionally, physical activities which include low-impact aerobics activities and yoga can make a big impact on the state of mind by releasing endorphins. A busy mind is a happy mind and everyone, regardless of age, can take advantage of making a few small changes in their daily routine to enjoy the beauty of life and surrounding world.
At times, the distance between families is represented in more than just miles between physical locations. The global pandemic has proven this to be true. Families are forced to stay far from their loved ones, many who might be just a few miles apart from each other due to illnesses or health conditions that are highly susceptible to COVID-19. Contacting and partnering with a home care agency, who prides themselves with taking necessary precautions, like always wearing proper PPE, performing a survey proving the caregiver is healthy to work prior to beginning each shift, and implementing the highest standard of cleanliness can be highly beneficial to seniors isolated and needing companion care. Synergy HomeCare is a great option for these seniors during these unprecedented challenging times.