By this time, we are more or less aware of the criticalities of the situation that COVID 19 has brought for all of us.
But the elderly in particular are more ভulnerable and prone group at the moment, thus practicing absolute home quarantine is most important for them.
Thus this new lifestyle, will make a huge change in their lives and their mental health. Feelings of being left alone, being a burden, loneliness, anxiety about health and contamination, frustration of not being able to maintain old routines and depression are common conditions.
So how can we help them, so that they can deal with their feelings and sail through the situation?
1. Spending time with the elderly, chatting with them can help them deal better with feelings of being left out. Most of us are staying at home, but is important to introspect how much time do we ever devote to the elderly.
2. Deploy some little responsibilities and work to them. This will help them to get engaged with something. Plus, they will feel valued.
3. Compliments are always welcome! Pass small positive comments on their work or actions. It always works for everyone to feel happy!
4. Help them to keep contacts with their circle. Many elderly are not adept to use smart phone or any kind of phone or gadgets.
Call their friends and relatives with whom they enjoy talking. This will help the elderly feel connected.
5. Having children at home is a boon. Children have a natural flair to make environment livelier. Thus if you have children they are the very stress busters. Encourage your children to spend time with the elderly. Their infectious energy will circulate into the elderly.
6. Plan small family fun times, like watching a movie all together or small games.
7. Make little doable request to them, this will make them feel wanted.
8. People at home may show certain difficult behaviours, remember these are normal behaviour at this scenario, best way to deal them is with no reactions.
9. Have compassion.
10. Encourage all members to watch less screen and specially news. One hour of news is enough to get information. More you watch Covid related materials, more anxiety will flow into home environment.
Remember this is a situation no body wanted, but this is also an opportunity to strengthen your bond with your older family members, that may have gradually faded due to the rat race we are all in.