The number of cases has increased since the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus and some countries have experienced a second wave of the virus. Some countries are investing heavily for the search of vaccine in order to end this pandemic. Most countries have also taken measures to flatten the curve to keep the cases at a more manageable level for the medical providers. The measures include encouraging citizens to wash their hands more frequently, staying at home at most times (leaving home only when it’s essential), practice social distancing, wear mask when outside and self-isolate when they are unwell.
Elderly are at the most risk and most susceptible to this virus, hence family members must take great care to ensure that the elderly stay at home if possible. As the elderly lives are disrupted and are now living the “new” normal, family members must take extra effort to help the elderly better cope with their lives and ensure that their well being is not affected by this situation. The elderly well-being includes physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. For elderly who are living alone, family members must ensure that they stay connected with them even though house visits are prohibited, or frequency is reduced.
Mental and emotional well being are of utmost importance during current situation as research has shown people have increased anxiety and feel more self-isolated when they stay at home most of the times and are not able to participate in their usual social activities before the pandemic.
To address this, we can undertake the following tasks to help elderly maintain their mental and emotional well-being.
We encourage elderly, whether they are age 75 or 90 years old, to have some indoor hobbies. Hobbies are important to help reduce stress and boredom. They help to unleash the elderly creativity and provide something for the elderly to look forward to at home.
There are some hobbies which are suitable for the elderly. Firstly, cooking is a great hobby as she can experiment with different recipes and ensure that her meals are nutritious, which are important for her physical well-being. To help her take up this hobby, family members can buy her practical items such as a recipe book, an funny apron or a meal kit subscription box. Meal kit subscription box is one of the most popular gifts for 90 year old woman because most women love cooking and this box of fresh ingredients prepared in the right proportions for certain recipes save them the trip of visiting the supermarkets and grocery stores, hence reducing the risk of contracting the virus. It also helps them make cooking easier and less taxing, especially for 90-year-old, who cannot stand in the kitchen for too long.
Self care activities
Engaging in self care activities is especially important for elderly staying alone, because self care enables the elderly to maintain a healthy relationship with themselves and create positive feelings. Family members can consider buying the elderly items which create the cosy and peaceful ambience for the elderly to enjoy their alone time, such as scented candles and bath bombs. Family members can also consider buying the elderly favourite healthy snacks and drinks for them to enjoy some mindful eating, in between meals, with soothing music playing at the background.
The above activities will help the elderly better handle the current pandemic situation.