As the Coronavirus crisis continues, many of us are living under stay-at-home orders or are choosing to voluntarily self-isolate for safety reasons. But isolation is hard for everyone, and it is especially hard for seniors. You may already have been managing age-related changes in your social habits and relationships, and now this. What can be done to help deal with the struggles of isolation? We’d like to share these resources for seniors in quarantine with you.
Dealing With Boredom During a Pandemic
Boredom is a major problem for anybody who is newly homebound, and it seems like it only gets worse with time. Staying entertained at home can improve your mental health and morale.
- Explore a new hobby. It’s a great time to try something new. Simple crafts like bead making, soap carving, or painting are simple and inexpensive for beginners. If a craft doesn’t sound like your thing, try gardening or tending houseplants, doing jigsaw puzzles, or listening to audiobooks. You can even get free audiobooks from your library on your phone or computer.
- Go digital. The world online has more than ever to offer to those stuck at home. With a computer, iPad, or smartphone, you can access a wealth of free entertainment and enrichment resources. Try everything from home workout programs to podcasts to new communities of like-minded friends.
- Make a call. If you can’t visit with friends or family, why not arrange a video call? You can even organize a game night! From bingo to cards to classic board games like Scrabble, pull out your smartphone and join the fun with old friends or new ones.
- Enjoy some culture. The internet also offers arts and culture experiences, from YouTube videos of live theater and dance to digital tours of museums around the world. You may not be able to get on a plane right now but it doesn’t need to stop you from seeing the sights!
Dealing With Stress During a Pandemic
Beyond boredom, isolation can lead to sadness, stress, and anxiety. When your routine is suddenly changed, it’s hard to find ways to keep going at home.
- Keep up with exercise. Even if you can’t get to the gym or your exercise class, you can stay active. From home videos and DVDs to free and premium options on digital streaming services, home exercise instruction has never been easier to find at every level of ability. Just remember not to undertake a new exercise routine without consulting your doctor.
- Keep up with nutrition. Low blood sugar can make you irritable or anxious. To avoid this, keep a regular routine with meals. Making a meal plan or trying new recipes can help prevent food boredom.
- Treat yourself to something nice. When stress starts to get to you, try conscious steps to lift your mood. A new book, a walk around the block, or a phone call to a loved one can all help chase the blues away.
Dealing With Practical Needs During a Pandemic
Sometimes the hardest needs to meet are practical ones. For seniors newly stuck at home, there may be a learning curve for meeting daily practical needs.
- Try food delivery. There’s been a boom in food delivery service recently and they’re extra helpful now. Grocery delivery services like Instacart and Dumpling are easy to set up on a basic smartphone and most stores now offer curbside pickup so you can fill your pantry without ever leaving the car.
- Protect yourself and others. If you’re out and about, wear a mask and wash hands often. Keep physical distance from others. Use sanitizing cleaners to wipe down surfaces in your home after you have a visitor or bring something in from outside. Remember not to mix different kinds of cleaning products as this can create toxic fumes.
- Take your finances online. There’s never been a better time to go paperless. If you usually bank and pay bills by mail or in person, consider switching to online banking online banking and bill pay. Reach out by phone to your bank or utilities companies for reliable and secure help.
Life is certainly upside-down right now. But quality of life, mental health, and physical safety don’t need to suffer. Taking care of yourself is more important than ever.
If managing life at home without the help and community you’ve been used to is feeling like too much, assisted living may be a good option for you.
To learn more about assisted living and how it can lighten your load, why not visit us for a digital tour today?