Hello everyone, I am a physiotherapist. I always believe that social work in any form itself is a path towards serving humanity.
Each day of lockdown is becoming more difficult for everyone. Every age group, from small children to old people are getting affected. And elderlies are the ones about whom we need to think of more because this population is at risk due to their age and immunity. During lockdown the most common mental health issue which older people are facing is depression. They suffer from depressive thoughts, emotional turmoils, memory problems and cognitive issues. In today’s world the major reason for such mental health issues of any senior citizen, is their own unhealthy environment. Their dependency of medications keeps on increasing as their immunity starts getting resistant to medicines. And hence a mentally healthy environment specially at home is very important for geriatric people. So let us see how we can help them prevent such mental health problems during lockdown and how do we deal with them as a family members.
1) They need our Time
Sometimes, all they need is a little time from you. They do not expect much. Even during lockdown when you are busy in your work for hours, but each day spending a little time with them and simply asking them ‘how was your day and how are you feeling?’ will actually make them feel better. It might be a silly thing for you, but a simple one to one conversation with them will always prove to be beneficial. Spending time with them is always the best solution.
2) Understand their Expectations
We try providing them all necessities like good food, luxurious life with cell phones, well furnished home for them to stay, caretakers and maids to work for them and much more. But many a times they want their children and their grand children to talk with them, go for a short walk with them, to share memories and converse with them. We somewhere fail to understand what they exactly expect from us. Hence it is very important to know their feelings and expectations.
3) Simple gestures of expressing love and care
In day to day busy schedule and earning for family members somewhere we forget those who have been there for us, raised us and always sacrificed their life to create a bright future for us. It is our duty now to do our part for them. Simply taking a nap on their lap and making them realize that you are still the same and things have not changed will make them.feel good. Reading out to them and solving their difficulties are expressions that shows your care. Mending their spectacles, wishing them on mother’s day and father’s day will make them feel important. These simple gestures do not need much time.
Sound mental health is a key to successful aging!
4) Be a listener
They just want someone to listen to them for a while. They wish to tell you about your childhood memories, about how they used to be when they were of your age and how you should behave when you grow old. Just sit for few minutes and listen to what they want to say. Sometimes their talks might seem silly for you, but just sitting besides and listening to them makes them feel that you care for them. Lockdown is the time when they need you to be their best listener.
5) Let them feel your presence and let their presence be felt!
There are many families who keep their parents at old age homes when they settle overseas. It is acceptable that most of the times you are not able to take them along and suffice their needs along with handling your expenses. But at least you can make sure to visit them, call them daily and make them feel that they are important and you really care for them. This lockdown and quarantine is the time when they need your presence the most. Elderlies always tend to feel worried about their families. Hence, it is important to keep assuring them about your well-being.
Our generation is a digital world. Whereas our geriatric population still believes in old school traditions. They are the reason we follow certain norms and religious methods otherwise long ago, we would have forgotten all of them. And now it is our duty to teach them our digital communication. Lockdown can be the best time to do so. Many of us claim that elder people are not used to cellphones the way new generation is and they can never use skype or whatsapp. But how will they do it unless you teach them to? Spend some time with them and let them enter our world.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2019 Natasha Tungare
Natasha Tungare (author) from India on May 17, 2020:
Thank you so much everyone for such wonderful insights!! Your views and feedback are the reason I write better articles. Glad you all liked this piece and hope you found it helpful
Bugie on November 06, 2019:
Very helpful!!Keep it up Miss. Natasha Tungare
Natasha Tungare (author) from India on November 06, 2019:
Thank you so much everyone for your lovely feedback! I hope it helps you all to create a great bond with our geriatric population :)
Lorna Lamon on November 06, 2019:
This is an excellent article and necessary reading in a world where many older people's needs are not being met. I work with the Red Cross in Aged Care Homes and the majority of people I visit are extremely lonely. Family members living in other parts of the country are not always able to visit. Your article is full of great advice and tips to enable the older generation to get the most of out life. Thank you for sharing.
Suchismita Pradhan from India on November 04, 2019:
Natasha your article is an eye opener for many,while people are busy and running behind the clock and money they are forgeting humanity.Oldage is just equivalent to an age of a new born,we should handle them carefully and lovingly as we are doing for our own child
Prantika Samanta from Kolkata, India on November 04, 2019:
A great read. We tend to forget that we are gradually walking towards the old age. Spending time with elderly people is essential. They should not feel lonely or they are no more required. I like the section on how they can have independent living.
Halemane Muralikrishna from South India on November 04, 2019:
Great article Ms Natasha, Age old people have to be respected, cared and answered properly. This is an article, every person should read. Elderly must not go in search of home, they must have a home of their own in which younger generation must respond to their needs. Do you have any antioxidant diet suggestions?