While we are able to see the light at the end of the tunnel, the COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on our emotional and physical wellbeing. Months of isolation and physical separation from people we love have taken a toll on many older adults and those they love.
Now is an ideal time for older adults and family caregivers alike to dedicate time and attention to rebuilding health and wellness. Our Chesterfield caregiving experts have some recommendations to help you get started.
Establish a Routine
Having an established schedule helps set the tone for the day. Regardless of what the day’s agenda might be, get up at a specific time and follow a routine. For example:
- 7 a.m. – Get up and ready for the day
- 8 a.m. – Have a nutritious breakfast
- 9 a.m. – Stretching, meditation/prayer, mindfulness, and exercise
- 10 a.m. – Call or video chat with a family member or friend
- 11 a.m. – Work on a puzzle or other mentally-stimulating activity
- 12 p.m. – Enjoy a hearty and healthy lunch
- Afternoon: An outing, walk, household chores, engagement in a hobby or pastime, etc.
- 5 p.m. – Eat dinner
- 6 p.m. – Wind down for the day by watching movie, reading, listening to music, or doing some other soothing activity
- 9 p.m. – Get ready for bed
Needless to say, the routine does not need to be rigidly followed, but it functions as the framework to avoid the urge just to settle into the sofa for the day.
Aim for a minimum of a quarter-hour daily of some type of doctor-approved regular exercise: riding a stationary bike, taking a walk around the neighborhood or on a treadmill, or following along with a recorded fitness program. Include some balance and stretching exercises as well to strengthen muscles and help protect against falls.
Connect with Others
Even with physical distancing requirements in place, social connection is essential. We know that isolation is extremely hazardous to a senior’s health and wellbeing, and it’s important that socialization be a priority. Safe options to stay connected include chatting with other people through social media as well as other online platforms, making use of virtual meeting software like Skype or Zoom to “visit” with friends and family, and joining online classes, clubs, and support groups. And of course, an in-home caregiver from Compassionate Nursing Services is a wonderful way for older adults to safely enjoy companionship with other people. We are also available to help seniors set up and learn how to use the necessary technology to stay connected with loved ones. Contact us for details!
Try Something New
Intellectual engagement sparks creativity and helps maintain cognitive functioning. The options are infinite! Learn a new language, play word and memory games on the web, pick up a new hobby you’ve always wanted to try. Reward yourself for your positive results, too!
Take Time to Relax and Unwind
Anxiety and depression are spiking due to the pandemic, in individuals of all ages. Overcome mental health issues by getting plenty of sleep, spending some time participating in pleasant activities every day, and getting outside as much as possible. Simply sitting on the porch and listening to the birds tends to be incredibly calming and uplifting.
Compassionate Nursing Services is always here to help raise the mental and physical wellbeing of seniors as well as family caregivers. Our respite care services let family members take time away from caregiving duties for self-care. Seniors also discover an enhanced quality of life through our full selection of home care services. A win-win! Call us at 314-432-4312 for a free in-home assessment and to learn more about the Chesterfield caregiving services local families trust most. After all, we are an award-winning provider. We’ve have received the highest customer and caregiver satisfaction ratings, as measured by an independent, third-party research team. To learn about all of the communities where we provide care, please visit our Service Area page.