Reducing Anxiety around Reopening after COVID-19
Now that a larger number of people have been vaccinated and many states have relaxed their COVID-19 restrictions, we are all eager to get back to our normal lives. While younger people may not have any reservations about going out in public without masks, older people may not be so enthusiastic. As the group most vulnerable to COVID-19, it’s normal for them to experience anxiety around “reopening” and returning to pre-pandemic activities. If you have a senior loved one who is concerned about reopening after COVID-19, the team at Summerset Senior Living has a few tips to help you put their mind at ease.
Don’t Dismiss Their Anxiety
While daily COVID case numbers have dropped significantly from their peak in January 2021, seniors still have reason to feel apprehensive about it. When they want to talk about their fears, try not to be dismissive. Understand that their feelings about the matter are valid and if you actively listen without discounting their concerns, it may reassure them.
Ease Them Back into Normal Activities
Part of listening to your loved one’s concerns is ensuring they can resume normal activities on their own terms. If you invite them to a family event and they don’t yet feel comfortable attending, don’t make them feel bad about it. Assure them that while friends and family miss seeing them, you understand their fears. Try scheduling a face-to-face meet up with just a few family members. After multiple small gatherings, they may feel ready to start interacting with a larger group.
Many people are still concerned about COVID-19. If this is the case with a senior loved one, it is important to show empathy and validate their feelings. If it makes your loved one feel more comfortable, wear a mask while meeting with them. Even if you are vaccinated, showing that you are empathetic to their concerns can make them feel more at ease. If your loved one is worried about going out in public, remind them that it is still OK to wear a mask and social distance until they feel more comfortable being around other people.
Talk to Them about COVID-19
There is a lot of information out there about COVID-19, and not all of it is helpful. Talk to your loved one about COVID-19, find out what sources they use to get their information about the virus, and help them interpret that information in a way that’s productive. When you discuss COVID-19 in a frank manner, you may be able to reduce their anxiety.
Talk about Happier Times
Your loved one’s mind has probably been occupied with bad news over the course of the pandemic. This can leave anyone feeling down, so it could help to lift their spirits by changing the subject. On your next visit or phone call, reminisce about happier times. Remembering all the fun they had before the pandemic may make them more receptive to the idea of getting back to their pre-pandemic life.
Senior Living Communities in Lincoln, CA and Gold River, CA
Getting back out into the world after being isolated during the COVID-19 pandemic can be scary. That’s why you should know that there’s a community of people right here in California who have dedicated themselves to providing the support and understanding seniors need to be happy. Whether your loved one is concerned about COVID, or they need medical support and monitoring that can’t be provided at home, we will be here for them. Call (916) 619-0494 or fill out the online form on our contact page to find out more about our senior living communities in California or to schedule your free tour today.