*Guest post by Emily Graham
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has transformed the world in many different ways. In less than one year after the pandemic began, many people across the world were forced to alter their daily routines. The pandemic has disrupted many things, including how we learn and interact and how we work, with experts projecting that it could change how people work forever.
According to a survey by Parade Magazine, the pandemic has also affected how people approach their healthcare and health, affecting seniors in both positive and negative ways. Here are some of the things the survey revealed.
Mental Health Challenges
One of the ways COVID-19 has affected life is by triggering mental health challenges. These include managing depression, addiction, general stress, and social isolation, which resulted from the pandemic and social distancing requirements. This seems to be affecting older people as some of them are made to isolate themselves from their loved ones. Many seniors are overwhelmed by the flow of information about the virus.
Sometimes, the information and guidelines can be shifting, creating confusion and forcing many people to restructure their schedules as new discoveries about the spread of the virus emerge. All this confusion can be daunting for seniors to handle, so it has taken a heavy toll on their mental health.
Besides all the sad news, there are positives about how the pandemic has affected people. One of those positives is the motivation to stay healthy among seniors. Many seniors have embraced lifestyle changes, including better eating habits. Looking at how the pandemic affected the healthcare system, many people want to stay healthy and avoid any situation that may necessitate getting hospitalized. To achieve good health, there has been widespread motivation to embrace better eating habits and hygiene in general, which is something seniors can benefit from as this is a group heavily affected by the virus.
Family and the Pandemic
Families were not spared by the pandemic as social isolation measures separated loved ones and sometimes kept them apart for months. This has led to added stress for families, who lost connection with their loved ones, especially older family members. However, some reported positive experiences, especially those in close quarters as the pandemic kept them together longer, forging new connections. This is a good thing for seniors who can connect with their grandchildren.
How to Cope During the Pandemic
One of the ways to handle the pandemic is by trying a new environment. This can give you a fresh start, so you can redefine your life considering the many changes that have happened recently. To keep your peace of mind as a senior citizen, you should downsize to a space that doesn’t demand a lot of maintenance. Deal with clutter in your home and look into a rented space that is easier to manage. When searching for rentals, visit online platforms like Rent.com, where you can set your price range to see properties listed in Fort Worth within your budget. Also, you can search based on parameters like the number of bedrooms and pet-friendliness, among other amenities suitable for seniors.
Spend Time in Nature
Consider spending time in nature as different studies show this has a positive effect on your mental health. More time in nature helps seniors boost their immune systems. According to a 2015 study, even living in a community with lots of trees can improve one’s metabolic and cardiovascular health, and it can also lower blood pressure levels and mitigate stress.
The pandemic has impacted different aspects of life, including how people view healthcare, fitness, and work schedules. While many of these changes have brought about stress, you can also pick a few positives, like the fact people can spend more time with loved ones.
*Emily Graham is the creator of Mighty Moms. She believes being a mom is one of the hardest jobs around and wanted to create a support system for moms from all walks of life. On her site, she offers a wide range of info tailored for busy moms — from how to reduce stress to creative ways to spend time together as a family.