The elderly can become depressed and anxious. In this time of isolation, it is essential to have company, even from a distance, and a routine of activities.
During the quarantine, there were several online videos of seniors "fleeing" their homes. Although they were funny scenes, there is an alert there. The elderly can really get depressed and anxious when they feel like they are trapped inside the house, alone and with nothing to do.
These feelings are affecting people of all ages in quarantine, but special care must be taken with the elderly. Due to old age, many already suffer from chronic diseases, and these problems can be exacerbated if the elderly are not properly cared for.
How to take care of the mental health of the elderly in quarantine.
Precisely due to the issue of chronic diseases, the elderly are also part of the risk group for covid-19. Therefore, it is recommended that they remain isolated at home. This factor forces them even more to be lonely and bored.
Therefore, it is important for people who live with the elderly to help them distract themselves at home in various ways. This is the technique to take care of the mental health of the elderly in quarantine. Here are some tips on what to propose to do together.
1. Tell and listen to stories
The elderly generally like to tell their stories from the past. Offer the elders a good conversation, start asking questions, and recall pleasant events from the past so they can begin to tell their stories.
Also tell about some of the things that happened to you and ask for advice. This chat will help the elderly to be distracted, they will get to know each other better and will also help to keep their memory more active.
2. Propose board games
The elderly who are interested in technology, still like board and board games. This is also a great distraction. Look for checkers, chess, ludo, cards, dominoes, and more, depending on what the person likes best. It will produce a few hours of fun, in addition to contributing to the concentration of the elderly.
3. Watch movies and shows.
The elderly are very fond of television, and today you can easily find old movies to download. Ask the elders if there is a movie they would like to review, or suggest new movies for them to watch.
4. If you are far away, stay in touch
If the older person lives alone and you cannot be with them, make good use of technology. Send messages, make several video calls, as this contact is essential so that the elderly do not feel alone and abandoned. When you don't have a lot to do, an hour a day feels like five.
5. Encourage physical activity
If you are at home with the elderly person, encourage them to do some light physical activities, according to their limitations, such as dancing in the room and doing some gymnastics. If you live in a house, a walk in the garden is also very good.
6. Extra activity as a hobby
Cooking, sewing, crafts, carpentry, playing an instrument ... What did the older person like to do in their free time and has not done more? Perhaps it is time to rekindle your interest in a hobby you have stopped doing.
7. Organize a routine
It is very important that if the older person does not have this habit, they are helped to create a routine with a schedule for getting up, bathing, eating and doing additional activities. The routine helps keep your head organized and calmer, as well as making your day faster and more useful.
8. Respect wants and needs
During all these activities and tasks, be careful not to treat the older person like a child. You need to feel respected, to be able to give your opinion and to talk about the decisions that are being made. Otherwise, your self-esteem will suffer, so your mental health will not be good.
Let him do everything he can do for himself, as his limitations allow, but always be around to help you with whatever you need and be good company.
By Priscilla Riscarolli. Article in Portuguese