Movement for Seniors During the Lockdown
The COVID-19 (coronavirus) disease pandemic had created a great amount of fear and uncertainty. This is more common among older people. More than anyone else, the elderly relies on social connection, and in this pandemic situation, they need it more than ever.
Elderly individuals and even retired officials require a certain helping hand and for that, they need the assistance of people around them. As most nations are practicing the whole lockdown and following social distancing, vulnerable seniors would feel alone and scared.
There are many reasons why elderly people might feel vulnerable. One major reason is since they have various chronic conditions compared to the younger generations, their immune system is aging, and cannot fight the diseases, viruses, and other normal infections. Besides, recoveries among senior citizens are a bit slower and somewhat more complicated.
Worry About Senior Citizens
Most of us often get worried about our loved ones especially the older and ones living far away. They often face anxiety as they are living alone and on fixed income or pension. Not only they cannot drive but they also cannot travel on public transport. Hence, their routine check and traveling get delayed and blocked due to the pandemic situation.
Some of them end up getting un-diagnosed and slip into poorly managed depression. It is not surprising to see that for millions of elderly people, COVID-19 has amplified their already existing worries.
Providing Social Support to Elderly
- You need to check on them regularly through phone calls
- At times, you can send messages or communicate through WhatsApp
- You can leave a note on their front door. It will help them to know that someone is thinking about them.
- You can even cook something for them and place it outside their home, or you can ring the bell and let them know in advance that you are delivering home-cooked meals for them.
Running Errands for Old People
- You can purchase them daily essentials like bread, milk, vegetables, bread, fruits, etc
- Go to the grocery shop
- Make sure that their medical supplies are stocked up
- Send them constant reminder asking them to take their medicines
How You Can Motivate & Help Elderly People?
Below are a few of the steps you can do from your side to assist the elderly population. In the times of corona crisis, you can be a better human being and try to assist the poor old people by –
- Teaching Social Media Tools
For old people, this is the best time to learn something new and what better is by using technology to keep them in touch with their family. You can help to create an account for them on Facebook, YouTube, or Instagram or even make them learn to use video calling. Frankly, these can be fun ways to make the elderly people engaged and connected.
- Spend Time Doing Fun Activities
There are plenty of activities one can do during the lockdown period. You can easily encourage them to teach their grandkids some traditional art and craft methods like tatting, quilling, Crocia. Plus, you can spend time with them by playing fun games like carom, Ludo, chess, and other virtual gaming tools like play station.
- Encourage to Create Family Tradition Food Recipe Book
No doubt, this is the best time to bond with the elderly and gain some knowledge regarding traditional recipes from them too. Plus, you can assist in documenting these recipes, take excellent pictures, and even post them on Instagram.
- Go for Stress Reduction or Break Like Meditation
Of course, watching too much news can make certain people depressed. Most importantly, you do have to make sure that elderly people are not glued to the TV the entire day.
Just try to encourage them to learn various kinds of meditation using the online platform. This will help them to reduce stress, especially in such challenging periods. Meditation would also be great if the older people have existing medical condition like ones that might get worsen due to stress.
- Encourage Seniors to Speak with Professionals When Feeling Stressed
Now, there is no doubt that these are stressful times. Hence, if any person is feeling overwhelmed, connect the old people to expert counsellors. An online session would reduce stress and even assist them to cope with the anxiety and feel better.
- Spending Time to Read
For older adults, reading is a great and fun activity. Well, this is a fun way of spending time and keeping the brain engaged. Also, it helps in improving memory, improving sleep, reducing stress, and avoiding cognitive decline.
Irrespective of whether your older adult likes to read magazines, physical books, listening to audiobooks, using e-readers, they can easily immerse themselves in a well-informed story, check out the photographs, or learn some interesting new topics.
- Exploring Various Hobbies
For older adults having limited mobility, hobbies are great. Here activities that will not need a lot of moving around like bird watching, cooking, knitting, baking, crochet, container or indoor gardening, learning a new language or playing musical instruments, etc. This can be a perfect time for learning something new. Chances are there that you might try some new hobbies or interests that you never had the chance to explore before. Learning is the best way of keeping one’s mind active and avoid all kinds of boredom.
- Becoming Creative
Getting in touch with your creative side is just another fun manner or way for the seniors to spend their time. Colouring, drawing, sculpture, and painting are all the best things that you can do to be creative.
Here fun projects would be creating scrapbooks, making a family recipe book, organizing family photo albums, etc. Also, being creative comes with huge health benefits too. Research and studies show that creative activities will assist people that are battling chronic illness for decreasing negative emotions. Also, it will increase the positive ones too, reduce all kinds of anxiety and stress, and improve the medical outcomes.
- Enjoy TV Shows, Movies, And Music
Watching TV all day is not a healthy pastime. However, a movie or a couple of TV shows can be an enjoyable part of the day or week. Watching TV will intersect into a hobby. For example, your old grandparent might be interested in watching documentary on topics that they are learning about.
They might get inspired watching Food Network or Travel Channel and try some new recipes or even go to some great destinations. They can even try activities like singing songs or listening to music. Music has great power for reducing stress, pain, and anxiety. It will improve one’s immune function and sleep along with assisting the memory.
Try to Limit Your Chances of Infection and Spreading Diseases
Most of the doctors and physicians recommend that you should first and foremost practice self-isolation as well as social distancing. We need to make sure that we are not in physical contact with the seniors, especially currently. If we are the caregivers, then, in that case, we should treat our own bodies just like they are an extension of the seniors that we are caring for.
Just think of it as a paradigm. If you are the caregiver of the senior, then you should be responsible for yourself and do all the things that are necessary for preventing as well as transmitting viruses. Frankly, this is the most important thing to do.
Take Some Time to Teach Seniors in Using Technology
Of course, seniors are sacred and alone. They need someone to take care of them and to talk to. Most doctors clearly state that their senior citizen patients often try to prolong their conversation to feel the human connection.
Just think if the seniors had the knowledge of facetiming. They would easily be able to interact with their close ones and see their faces. It would help the seniors to be connected digitally.
Necessity of Physical Exercise for Old People
As we all know staying physically active is necessary and important for being healthy as well as happy in old age. Exercise will always help old people to maintain their health. Plus, it will provide the required physical benefits and positive effects along with the sense of wellbeing.
When one becomes old and reaches the senior citizen age, they should always remain active and must have the recommended level of physical fitness. For old people, it would be tough to know how to approach exercising if they suffer from various health issued and mobility problems. Well, the good news is that there are various options that old people can easily explore.
Here being physically active or fit will not mean that seniors should do some strenuous exercises each day. Doing moderate activity will bring in some positive effects. This can be as simple as going for a walk daily or weekly swim. It is all about sustained activities that would keep the body moving and even make them fit and healthy.
Some of the key benefits that are commonly involved in being fit and active are-
- Elevating mood and lowering the risk of depression
- Reducing the impact of the mobility issue
- Reducing the symptoms of diabetes, arthritis, and heart diseases
- Lowering blood pressure.
Body Movements and Exercises Old People Need to Do
If the seniors have limited mobility or are not that much fit as they should be, then it might be hard to know what kind of exercise is safe for them to try at home. During this period of quarantine, it is necessary to remain as much as active as possible, especially in such challenging times.
By doing so, you can make sure to reduce the risk of the fall among old people and help them to maintain their independence if possible. Most importantly, active old people have fewer chances of suffering from heart diseases, cancer, dementia, type 2 diabetes, etc.
At first, starting an exercise routine might be a bit intimidating for old people. However, it will not have to be that complicated. Frankly, there are various simple routines you can allow them to follow for achieving the required physical activity level like housework, cooking, gardening, and the list goes on.
The below-given tips might assist seniors to be active during the COVID-19 pandemic and at home –
- Breaking Long Periods of Sitting Down
Many old people find that they are sitting down for a lot of time during the day. It is a great habit if they try to get up once every hour and try to stretch their legs. Here it can even be a small step or walking to the kitchen for putting the kettle on or washing the dishes, etc.
- Gentle Stretching
Stretching can be a great way for old people to be supple. Doing it every day helps them to improve their balance as well as flexibility. They can even do it by sitting or lying down. The stretching exercise can be done while sitting on the chair and lifting their legs right off the seat and making their knees bent. Then they can return to the sitting position and repeat the same with other leg.
- Doing Exercise While Sitting on a Chair
Sitting does not mean that old people would be inactive. You can make old people do some exercises while being in the sitting position. However, just make sure that the chair is solid, stable, and does not have wheels.
One exercise would be to make the old people sit upright with their feet being flat on the floor. Then they can cross their arms and reach to their shoulder. After that without moving their hips, they can turn their upper body to the left and that too as much far as it is being in a comfortable stage.
Then without moving the hips, make them turn their upper body to the left as much as being in a comfortable position. Make them hold on to this position for five seconds and then repeat it to the right side. Continue to make them repeat this procedure five times on each side.
Senior citizens are really in danger during this COVID-19 pandemic. They are the easy targets and to avoid that, they really must start moving their body. For that, they should be active and do some home-based exercises.