Elder care: Simple ways to ensure emotional and mental well-being amid pandemic


We reside in unsure occasions. With the second wave of COVID being touted as much more unpredictable than the primary, the worry of the unknown is rising. “This growing uncertainty can massively affect the mental health of seniors. The fact that they are the most susceptible to the virus coupled with the fear of losing their loved ones and the guilt of possibly being the carriers of the virus can be detrimental to their mental health,” stated Dr Shilpi Kulshreshtha, head medical care, Antara, a Max Group firm specialising in senior care.

She added: “Additionally, quarantine leads to loneliness, restricts their mobility and independence causing an increase in grief, anxiety, and chronic stress that can have long-standing psychological effects. Some situations like the loss of a close family member or a friend can cause traumatic stress or even PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), which can persist for months or even years and many might be unaware of this.”

Families and caregivers want to be consciously concerned in caring for the aged and keep up to date concerning the signs and the coping methods of traumatic stress and present utmost sensitivity to their mental well being.

Symptoms of trauma-led stress

Emotional signs

Disbelief within the occasion: Not accepting the truth and feeling disconnected and numb
Losing belief in oneself: Being apprehensive about dropping management if the identical state of affairs prevails sooner or later, at all times on the alert mode
Grief: This may be due to dropping somebody shut (household or associates) to the virus, or simply unhappiness induced by the state of affairs all over the world.
Feeling helpless: The unpredictable pandemic left many feeling susceptible, helpless, making them susceptible to nervousness/melancholy.
Feeling guilt: Seniors would possibly really feel responsible that they couldn’t do something to assist others who’ve died
Anger: They could also be offended on the authorities, or people who find themselves not following the covid-guidelines or anybody else they really feel are answerable for the state of affairs

Physical signs

*Increase or lack of urge for food
*Changes in sleeping patterns together with nightmares or insomnia
*Difficulty in concentrating on a thought, or racing ideas and not having the ability to cease
*Memory issues or confusion
*Excessive sweating main to dizziness, fainting
*Chest pains or pounding coronary heart
*Difficulty respiratory or speedy respiratory
*Unexplained aches and pains

Difference between traumatic stress and PTDS in seniors

“Both PTSD and traumatic stress have similar symptoms right after the trauma occurs but they advance in different ways. Traumatic stress symptoms improve over time through proper care of mental and emotional wellbeing. If however, traumatic stress symptoms don’t gradually improve, this means that the nervous system remains in a loop, seniors are unable to move on from the trauma caused by the event for a prolonged period of time. This causes PTSD. In some cases, they might start feeling worse each day instead of getting better because of being in a psychological shock,” Dr Kulshreshtha instructed indianexpress.com.

Coping methods

Minimizing publicity to the media

*Don’t watch the information concerning the pandemic or verify social media simply earlier than mattress. Take a break from watching the information utterly if needed.
*Try to keep away from distressing photographs and video clips similar to individuals struggling in hospitals and so on

Accepting your emotions and the truth

*Denial or disbelief will solely worsen the signs
*Accepting them and then engaged on them will make the method of coping a lot simpler
*Give your self time to heal, don’t power the method

Exercise and keep motivated

*Exercise to launch feel-good endorphins
*Start incorporating mindfulness actions into your days similar to yoga, deep respiratory workout routines, or meditation
*Boost your power and your temper via listening to favourite music, shifting round, studying your favourite ebook, cooking, and so on

Stay related

*Social isolation due to covid tips can depart you feeling alone and helpless
*It’s necessary to keep related with associates and household, even when it’s via video calls
*You don’t essentially have to speak concerning the pandemic or something that may set off your trauma, as a substitute, speak about different day-to-day regular issues

Use grounding workout routines

*Put your arms in water
*Pick up or contact objects close to you
*Breathe deeply
*Savour a meals or drink
*Take a brief stroll
*Hold a chunk of ice

Maintain weight loss program and sleeping patterns

*The meals one eats can straight have an effect on one’s temper and therefore the flexibility to deal with stress
*Depending in your medical situation, your physician can give you a weight loss program that retains the emotional and mental well being in verify as effectively.
*Sleep administration is essential as trauma could cause disruptions within the sleeping sample. Avoiding caffeine within the night, avoiding alcohol, and doing one thing stress-free earlier than mattress similar to studying a ebook or listening to music may help

It’s time to search skilled remedy when

*It’s been over six weeks because the occasion, and you’re solely feeling worse. For instance, one nonetheless has bother sleeping and hypervigilance
*Connecting to others appears troublesome, you’re socially isolating your self
*Having nightmares or flashbacks, experiencing recurrent and intrusive reminiscences of the trauma (in case of PTSD).
*Avoiding issues or conditions that remind you of the traumatic occasion.
*Thinking about suicide or having suicidal feeling

“It’s normal to experience traumatic stress following a disturbing event as severe as this global pandemic, but it’s important to know how to deal with it in order to improve one’s health. One should also know when to seek professional help if the need arises,” Dr Kulshreshtha stated.


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