How to Help Your Aging Parent Cope with COVID-19

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As your parents age, you have certain responsibilities to uphold. After all, your parents helped raise you and care for you, so it’s only fair to repay them for all their years of devotion and sacrifice. In the context of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, this obligation is more important than ever. Mental health issues are more common among seniors with prevalent depressive symptoms. The increase in social isolation due to social distancing and the virus’ high global mortality could exacerbate existing depressive symptoms and/or make someone more susceptible to mental illness. 

There are a number of ways you can help look after your aging parent and help them cope with these trying times. Here are a few examples. 

Encourage Exercise

Physical health and mental health are interconnected; physical exercise releases chemicals like serotonin and endorphins which help improve a person’s mood. Therefore, in encouraging your parent to look after their physical well being, you will also be looking out for their mental wellbeing.

With that in mind, try going for a walk together or research some senior-friendly exercises and suggest doing the workout together (virtually or in person if your region’s COVID-19 regulations allow). The social aspect will also help your parent cope with any social isolation they may have been feeling over the last few months.

Monitor Their Diet

A healthy diet is an integral component of maintaining physical health, which again ties in directly with mental health. Try your best to make sure your parent is eating a nutritious, well-balanced diet without controlling what they eat or judging them.

Try researching some superfoods for seniors and read up on their benefits for the aging population. From there, you can maybe share these findings with your parent, saying it might be of interest to them. Alternatively, you can pick up a few of these foods and bring them to your parent on your next visit. 

Seek Professional Care When Needed

When it comes to caring for your aging parent, it’s okay to seek out some extra help. In certain cases, such as your parent suffering from severe physical or mental health struggles, it’s absolutely necessary. In getting them the proper help, you will give your parent the resources they need to cope with COVID-19. This may mean that you need to explore putting your parent into a retirement or long-term care home or hiring a senior care specialist to provide in-home medical care. Companies like Husky Senior Care, for instance, offer hourly and live-in home care health services. Services like these can be an excellent alternative to retirement or long-term care homes; in the wake of COVID-19, the world has already seen so much drastic change that changing your parent’s residence may be especially overwhelming in this context.

In the midst of a global pandemic like COVID-19, supporting your loved one’s has never been more important. In encouraging exercise, monitoring their diet, and enlisting professional medical help when needed, you will ensure your aging parent is coping with COVID-19 in the healthiest way possible. 

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