Research suggests that isolation and loneliness are linked to high blood pressure, obesity, heart disease, a weakened immune system, depression, anxiety, cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s disease and pre-mature death.
Also, social isolation through social distancing, can increase the vulnerability of seniors for elder abuse. Help your parents recognize phishing scams, phone scams, and email scams – especially now.
Five tips and activities that you can use to help your loved ones feel less lonely in this time of social isolation:
- TV can be a great outlet. With many service offerings, there is an abundance of TV series, movies, historical accounts, biographies, —stay informed with current events, but limit the amount of negative news you are exposing yourself to.
- Go for a walk, do chair exercises, grab two tins of kidney beans and you have instant light weights. It doesn’t take a lot to be active.
- Self-comfort. It is a good time to take the extra time for self- care Take a warm bubble bath. Since we are social distancing, now is a good time to make a change to healthier habits. Try a new recipe every day, make the healthy meals you always wanted to but never had time to prepare. Light a scented candle and take time to try and clear your mind and focus on positive thoughts.
- Home projects. What have you been putting off? Is now the time to consider downsizing? In this time of social distancing, how many rooms in your home did you use? How much space do you really need? What got left undone because you were unable to take care of it on your own and your usual maintenance support couldn’t come to take care of it?
- Make plans for the future, for this too shall pass: Who do I want to see? What do I want to do?
Guest Post by Neela White
In addition to being a portfolio manager, Neela White is also a Certified Professional Consultant on Aging (CPCA) and an Elder Planning Counselor (EPC). Her focus on aging is informed by her own experiences following a series of family emergencies and tragedies. Neela graduated from the University of Western Ontario and McMaster University with degrees in psychology and gerontology.
Neela’s Website: http://www.renniewhiteassetmanagement.ca/neela-white.aspx