April 13, 2021
During the spread of COVID-19, it has become vital for us to keep ourselves and others safe by practicing social distancing. However, this can cause a great sense of stress and depression, especially amongst our beloved senior citizens.
When stressed, many people start to stay away from any meaningful activities as well as refuse to keep up with sensory stimuli and other types of social engagement. For seniors, the symptoms of stress during isolation can become substantially worse.
It is important to bear in mind that most group activities, as well as communal dining within care homes, is no longer happening due to COVID safety protocols.This was a sudden, but necessary change that was made to save lives and prevent the spread of the virus.
In some cases, however, a sudden change such as this one has led to an increased amount of stress and depression amongst many senior citizens.
Unfortunately, loneliness affects many senior citizens,especially those who have already been living with depression or stress-related issues.
Normally the major causes of these issues can be due to several things such as:
· A lack of transportation or the inability to drive.
· Living far away from loved ones.
· Feeling isolated.
· Being alone due to outliving a spouse or friends.
The feelings of loneliness, stress, and depression can be extremely detrimental to the mental health of your elderly loved one and can be the cause of a drop in their quality of life as well as severe cognitive decline.
When it comes to the physical consequences of stress and loneliness during isolation it can have life-threatening consequences. People who battle with loneliness or strong feelings of isolation are at an increased risk of developing life-threatening diseases such as coronary artery disease,high blood pressure, strokes, a decline of thinking skills, and sadly, evenearly death.
It is absolutely crucial to remain in contact with your loved ones during these times to let them know that you are thinking of them and that they are not alone. While it is sometimes easier said than done,regular contact can impact the elderly in a variety of positive ways.
For these people, even small things such as seeing a face or hearing a voice during a video call can lift their spirits and help them to cope with the isolation & stress that they may be feeling.
The older population living in care homes is one of the highest risk groups to be affected by the COVID-19 virus. This is because the residents are older, and most times have other underlying chronic conditions.
Hence this is why most nursing homes and care centers have imposed much tighter restrictions on visitors and non-essential staff from entering their premises.
There are many ways in which you can help to ease the pain and suffering that your elderly loved one is feeling during the lockdown. One such way is to schedule regular virtual family visits with them.
Try your best to schedule specific days and times for these visits as that gives your loved one something to look forward to. These video calls usually allow for multiple family members or friends to join in on the conversation.
To an elderly person who grew up writing letters and making phone calls, video calling, and new types of technology can often seem extremely complicated. Although the thought of learning how to use new technology may seem daunting to the older generation it is never too late for them to learn.
Try to explain to your loved one that video calls are made via applications that are used on a laptop, smartphone, or tablet. Take the time to reach out to them. Let them know that these applications can allow them to reach people anywhere in the world. And spend some time teaching them how to use these applications no matter how frustrating it may be for both them and you.
Some technological interventions have been specifically designed to reduce loneliness for the elderly living with dementia and other cognitive and physical disabilities.
Unfortunately, not all care homes make us of this technology even though it can be one of the best ways in which to prevent loneliness and feelings of sadness and isolation.
Even though email and social media are good tools that can be used to ease loneliness and depression amongst the elderly, these platforms are much less personal than face-to-face contact with loved ones.
Face-to-face contact through video calls is much more beneficial than any other kind of platform and can aid in reducing loneliness and anxiety amongst many senior citizens.
To make video calls it is a good idea to download an application onto one of your electronic devices. The Care2Talk application is easy to use and has many advantages specifically designed to assist elderly people to connect with their loved ones.
For some elderly people, services like Skype, Zoom, orother video calling applications proved to be too confusing to navigate and use. At Care2Talk we realized that there was a huge gap in the services available to connect seniors or people with dementia or cognitive disabilities with their caretakers, family, or friends.
Our specialized application allows for a better exchange of information since both speaker and listener are able to see and interpret body language and facial expressions.
This iOS/Android App uses a specially designed interface on a mobile or tablet device to create an easy-to-use video chat tool for those with cognitive decline and other impairments who may find alternative methods difficult to navigate.
This includes people who are suffering from conditions associated with:
· Aging & Dementia
· Cognitive and Developmental Disabilities
· Brain Injuries
· Vision Impairment
· Physical Disabilities
Our supporting services consist of:
· Site visits
· 24/7 support (call and email)
· Tablet support and warranty
· White glove service
Let us help you to connect seniors to their loved ones - it's just one simple touch away!
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