Experts Worry About Seniors In Social Isolation

Experts Worry About Seniors In Social Isolation Click to Enlarge Photo: Pixabay

(KNSI) - With many older and vulnerable people going into self-quarantine due to the coronavirus, experts say to be on the lookout for depression and anxiety.

Doctor Steven Loos, with the Central Minnesota Mental Health Center, says the reason is because of the loss of social connections, which is critical to mental health.

He says there are some everyday things to look for to spot a potential mental health issue.

“Decreased motivation or just not wanting to get up and do anything, because if we already know that we’re not going to have that vital connection, we might not get up and get going, and we really might just want to stay in our bed.”

He says older people need to find a new routine and stay busy.

“Inactivity is depressions best friend, and so the reverse of that is true. How do we combat depression with activity? I know that we have a limited menu of activates when we are isolated in our house.”

Dr. Loos recommends playing board or card games if you live with someone. If you’re a senior who lives alone, use social media to connect with people by video chatting.

If you’re not sure how to do some of that, ask someone like a child or grandchild for help.

He also says getting some exercise will also help.

While those over 65 seem to be most at risk from the coronavirus, the changes put in place across the state affect everyone.

“I would say that this is impacting all of us, I really would. Because, based on the guidance of the governor, we’re all supposed to be engaging in this social distancing, and so that changes everybody’s social life.”

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended that people stay at least six feet apart and that people gather in groups of no more than ten people.

He says many of the same suggestions for older people, works well for all ages.

For more information on getting help with mental health, click here.

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