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Coronavirus: How To Maintain Mental Wellbeing During Isolation

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As we continue to keep our homes and families safe during COVID-19, it’s important to consider the needs of the seniors in our lives and in our communities.

State and local health agencies are taking steps to ensure that seniors are physically protected from the virus, including directives for those 65 and older to stay home.  Many families are searching for guidance and solutions to ensure their loved ones – from parents and grandparents to neighbors and family friends –   are best taken care of.

This uncertain duration of isolation can take a toll on a senior’s mental and physical health. There are things we can all do to foster connection, hope, purpose, and support for seniors during this difficult time.

Families, caregivers and health professionals should work with seniors to develop a wellbeing plan for social and mental health that allows them to take part in activities they love, follow recommendations of health agencies, and maintain a positive outlook.

This can include:

  • Ensure basic needs are met. This includes prescriptions, food prep, and personal hygiene. Caregivers, loved ones, and volunteers considered low risk (those under 65 without preexisting medical conditions) can help seniors by running errands, grocery shopping, picking up prescriptions, helping with online orders of delivery of food and supplies, and taking care of other tasks outside of the home.
  • Connect with others whenever, and however, possible. Spending time with loved ones doesn’t have to happen in-person to be meaningful. Video calls, Facetime, texts and emails can help seniors stay in touch with loved ones when they can’t be together. Get the whole family in on connecting with loved ones. 
  • Enjoy the things they love. Life doesn’t stop when staying at home. Talk to your senior about their hobbies and favorite past times. Uncovering old favorites can lead to new memories like an at home spelling bee, a spirited game of cards, or a renewed love of art.  
  • Get some exercise. It’s important for seniors to continue movement and motion through exercise, even during a period of isolation. Ensuring a senior’s range of motion is still intact through daily stretching or yoga is a great way to keep moving. Keep moving by getting steps in when you can or turn up the tunes and have a dance party in the living room! Lifting light weights at home can help keep muscles strong when getting out of the house may not be an option. 
  • Maintain a healthy diet. When we spend a lot time at home, it’s often easy to grab a bite anytime we pass the kitchen. It’s important to keep in mind healthy options when snacking – avoid too many salty or sweet snacks. And, when meal prepping remember the food pyramid – fruit, veggies, calcium, grain, and proteins. Senior nutrition needs are especially important.
  • House cleaning! Not only is disinfecting surfaces in the home a recommended step to avoiding Coronavirus, it’s also a good time to consider a larger cleaning project. Cleaning doesn’t have to be a chore – seniors can make housework fun by playing upbeat music or using the time to look at photos and mementos with loved ones.
  • Find joy in everyday activities. Take time to enjoy the small things – card games, baking projects, a good cup of coffee, a phone call with a friend, eating your favorite food. There are always opportunities for meaningful moments and joyful days with a little planning. 


Mental Health & Well Being Guide