Due to Covid-19, most seniors are either staying home by choice and or greatly limiting their outings or are under quarantine measures. Retirement communities such as Assisted Living Facilities or Skilled Nursing Rehabilitation Centers have closed their doors to the public, including the families of residents. Although this has worked to prevent the spread of this deadly disease, it has created an opening for another disease that plagues the elderly: depression.
According to a 2020 study done by The Lancet Public Health, social disconnectedness in adults aged 57–85 years of age increases the risk of feeling isolated, which in turn strengthens their symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Companion care can make a world a difference in a senior’s life. Having a caregiver that can spend quality time engaging in conversation or listening and doing activities such as games, puzzles, or going for a walk can be tremendously uplifting for a senior. In the event that a senior requires help with the activities of daily living (ADLs) from a certified nursing assistant (CNA) or home health aide (HHA) such as bathing, dressing, toileting, walking or ambulation, transferring, grooming, or feeding it helps to have someone you know and enjoy having around to help with those activities. Doing these activities together with a caregiver can also satisfy the need for social interaction, companionship, and basic human contact. An at-home caregiver can also assist with light housekeeping such as laundry, wiping down counters, dishes, vacuuming, mopping, and dusting. A skilled nursing caregiver can assist with medication reminding or assistance with self-administration of medications; errands such as picking up prescription medications at a pharmacy; putting a grocery list together; grocery shopping; meal preparation and so much more!
Spending time outside has been suggested to reduce the symptoms of depression and anxiety. However, while struggling with depression, even going outdoors may seem like an impossible task. The caregivers at Collier Home Care can encourage your loved one to go on a daily walk to improve their mood or even encourage them to sit in their backyard in the shade. Assisted Living Facilities are closed to the public but are aware of the increasing depression in their residents and are allowing them to take walks around the building or sit outside. Although this is a wonderful way for the more physically able to spend their time, it can be dangerous for a resident in a wheelchair or a walker that may have more difficulty traversing different terrain. Having a caregiver to assist them safely with transfers and ambulation can give your loved one reassurance and allow them to completely enjoy their experience outside without any additional worry.
Staying home by choice or being in quarantine for months can create social isolation leading to feelings of loneliness and depression. Our caregivers can provide social companionship and also encourage and assist clients to connect online by helping them face time, Zoom, or Skype with friends and family, something that may have been out of their reach previously due to complications with technology. It is also important for your loved one to talk about how they are feeling during these troubling times. An at-home caregiver can listen compassionately and console them.
Establishing a Routine
An individual struggling with depression may wander around in their home aimlessly, and, feeling as they have nothing else better to do, end up sitting in front of a television watching news related to the pandemic. While being informed is generally a good idea, if done excessively, it may also trigger an increase in anxiety for an individual to the point where they have stopped feeling safe. An at-home caregiver may help your loved one by establishing a routine that encourages them to take their minds off the world’s troubles and focus more on taking care of themselves. This can be done in a gentle way to allow your loved one to feel like they are making their own choices, rather than being forced to do something that they do not necessarily want to do.
To Learn More
If you would like to learn more about companion home care, personal home care, or skilled nursing home care please give us a call at (239) 920-3902 or visit us online at www.collierhomecare.com. We will be happy to discuss your needs with you and help you determine what the appropriate level of care may be. Give us a call today!