COVID-19 - Its Impact on Mental and Emotional Health
How can you make a senior smile today? Our team is making a difference by bringing joy and emotional support to clients. We have been creating and finding innovative ways to bring sunshine during these trying times. We are committed to making each day meaningful and enhancing the quality of life of seniors all over Lincoln.
“We’re hearing stories of people declining and dying literally from loneliness and feelings of abandonment,” said Lori Smetanka, executive director at the nonprofit National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care.
Roughly 100,000 people died from Alzheimer’s and dementia from February through May, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates. Although not all the extra deaths were directly caused by the coronavirus, that fatality rate is 18% higher than average for those disorders in recent years.
Emotional distress and upheaval can sometimes be brought on by stressful life events—Covid-19 being one of these.
5 Expressions of Emotional Distress
Anger: Irritated- Angry- Furious
Sadness: Dissastisified- Sad- Hopeless
Isolation: Missing – Lonely/Confined- Abandoned/Trapped
Fear: Anxious – Scared- Terrified
De-valued: Disengaged- Bored- Useless
Companionship and connection can help free someone from sadness, despair, and isolation caused by depression. When we continue to help our seniors find pleasure in living, we can play a part in them returning to a healthier, happier, more fulfilling life. By allowing seniors to embrace their everyday life we know that
Ideas from our care team:
Relax: Sit quietly in calm surroundings with soft lights and pleasant scents aromatherapy such as lavender, citrus, vanilla, cinnamon, peppermint, fresh cut grass
Read aloud: spiritual readings, poetry, inspirational readings, or one chapter of a book you like
Laugh and smile: watch classic comedians, Candid Camera, America’s Funniest Home
Videos: look at kid or animal photos, read simple/short jokes
Move and Stretch: front to back, side to side, and across
Remember the good times: record oral memories, reminisce with scrapbooks, photo journals, keepsake items
Play a brain game: crosswords, jigsaws, jeopardy, jumbled
Sing: play songs from a favorite decade and look up with YouTube karaoke so you can sing along!
Garden: work with plants
Spend time outdoors: Rock on the porch, take a walk, or sit in the sun
Journal: take the opportunity to “tell it like it is”
Pet therapy: Cuddle and pet your fur baby
A Care Partner experience is a friend visiting that provides inspiring activities so that mom or dad doesn’t feel lonely, a residence that is clean and organized, care management that checks up on mom or dad immediately when they aren't feeling well, a team and oversight that provides confidence that mom and dad are safe, dignified, and have the highest quality of life.
Do you know of one person that we could make smile today? Reach out to us today by calling 402-780-1211 to see the difference from service provider to partner and what that can mean for you.
Anti-anxiety drugs, in particular, have soared by up to 31%, suggesting uncertainties over health and financial impacts are taking their toll. Antidepressant prescriptions hit double-figure percentages (13–22%) for eight straight weeks ending June 6. This notable rise is significant and concerning when compared to last year's numbers.
The trend has led experts to caution that prescribing mental health medication for pandemic-linked issues should not be the default option. Non-pharmacological interventions like exercise, activity-scheduling, and relaxation techniques should be the leadoff treatment plan recommended for a lonely or depressed senior before resorting to mental health prescriptions.
Mental workouts are another way that seniors are able to distract themselves from the negative mindsets they are experiencing in the current environment. Participating in online courses allows seniors to practice skills like structured problem-solving. To learn more about the local online course opportunities that are available you can visit olli.unl.edu.