As lockdown orders lift and the world gets vaccinated, life is starting to return to how it was before the COVID-19 pandemic. The last 18 months have been rocky for us all, and seniors in particular have had a hard time.
As a vulnerable group, they were forced to put their lives on hold and follow all distancing, masking, de-densifying, and travel measures that were put in place in order to remain safe.
After this upheaval, seniors may have a hard time readjusting. These are the top four ways to encourage a return to normal for seniors.
1. Develop a Routine
One of the largest effects the pandemic had on everyday life for seniors was a lack of stability. Closures meant that their usual patterns of running errands or receiving necessities were disrupted, and many changes had to be made in the way they receive care.
Developing a routine that slowly integrates more aspects of our new normal life will help seniors adjust on their own timeframe. Additionally, the consistency of routines can help squash any kinds of anxiety or uncertainty a senior may be feeling. Having a set pattern to rely upon each day is grounding.
2. Promote Exercise and Activity
Exercise and physical activity have long been linked to better physical and mental health. Relearning how to interact with daily life will already be taking a toll on your senior loved one, so it is important to make sure they have a solid foundation of health to work from. Outdoor activities are a fantastic option, as there are plenty of health benefits from exercising in the Sun. Indoor activities, like stretching routines, also help seniors to stay agile and sharp. Regular exercise will help your senior be active, positive, and healthy during the return to normal.
3. Encourage Safe Practices
Seniors have been the target of many misinformation campaigns throughout the entire pandemic. They may be unsure of what the right process is to safely return to normal. Introducing your seniors to reliable health sources will be important in empowering them to gain independence and make their own choices about reentering normal life.
While they learn to find this information, remind them of what safety practices will continue to protect them from illness. Frequent hand washing, social distancing, and wearing masks will ensure they and those around them stay healthy.
4. Truly Listen to Their Concerns
This will be a difficult time for seniors. The pandemic caused uncertainty in us all, and seniors experienced this more intensely due to their vulnerability to the virus. It's possible some residual anxiety, as well as depression or cabin fever, will make the return to normal for seniors even harder.
If your loved one seems to be struggling with the change, give them the opportunity to talk it out. Sharing their concerns will help them to feel better, and it will tell you or your senior's caregivers what can be done to be supportive during this transition. Even just having someone to talk to will be a huge benefit to their mental wellbeing.
At Jacaranda Trace, it is our goal to foster a vibrant retirement community where seniors can thrive. It is more important now than ever that your seniors have a comfortable and supportive environment to readjust to normal life. If you're interested in learning more about our community, contact us today.