Older adults are more vulnerable to COVID-19. While everyone is at risk of contracting the disease, older adults are at a higher risk of developing severe symptoms.
For the health and social care of older adults, it is advised to avoid visiting them. However, this social restriction has caused a hidden pandemic among older adults: isolation and depression.
So, what can you do to help an older loved one prevent mental health problems? Here are 6 ways you can do to boost their mental health during the lockdown.
1. Encourage Older Adults to Get Physical
Older adults need regular exercise schedules. The benefits are not only for their physical health, but it is also for their mental wellbeing. Exercise boosts a person’s mood by increasing feel-good chemicals that reduce stress and other depressive symptoms.
Simple exercises, including walking and stretching, is required at least 15 minutes a day. To encourage older adults to stick to this exercise routine, join them through video calls.
You can also consult a medical professional to determine what routine is best for their age and health condition.
2. Teach Older Adults How to Use Technology for Communication
Thanks to technology, everything is just one call or message away. So, whenever they need emotional support, reaching out to people is no problem. Whether it’s care from a loved one or professional listening support, their needs will be met promptly.
Just make sure to teach them how the process works, and leave instructions that are easy to follow.
3. Help Them Discover a New Hobby
Having a new hobby is not just great for killing boredom. Hobbies also keep the mind active and help sharpen motor skills. So, help older adults find a hobby that both interests them and benefits their mental health.
For example, they can try gardening, learning a new musical instrument, or even play video games!
4. Get Them a Pet
Many mental health awareness advocates vouch for the benefits of having a pet, especially for older adults. Caring for a pet brings back a sense of purpose that they thought they’d lost. Also, pets offer unconditional companionship.
5. Keep Their Minds Busy
During their downtimes, help them discover activities that can break the monotony. Try giving them access to word puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, and crossword puzzles to keep their minds stimulated.
Or, you can also get books and magazines for them to read. If they’re willing, you can also teach them how to use social media platforms.
6. Find Listening Support
While there are plenty of ways to keep an older adult’s mind stimulated, communication is still the most valuable for them.
You might want to be available all the time just in case an elder family member needs emotional help. However, the reality is that it’s not always possible. When this happens, it’s OK to ask for outside help.
24/7 Listening Support for Older Adults
Talking for Therapy understands the importance of mental health and social care for older adults. So, we make sure that our advisors are available whenever they need someone to talk to.
Older adults often feel less seen and heard, especially when they’re isolated during lockdowns. But with our active listening support, these feelings can be dispelled. Moreover, it helps them to process emotions and other concerns they may secretly possess healthily.
Our advisors are equipped and well-trained to provide unconditional listening support to older adults. We don’t judge; we care. So, if you’re looking for reliable emotional help for an older relative, book an appointment now.