Senior citizens and their caregivers, here’s how you can stay positive during the lockdown
Lockdown can be stressful for senior citizens who might be already suffering from a host of existing ailments. Some might be constantly worrying about contracting the Covid-19, virus while some whose mindset is positive and they are in good health may not require extra care. On the other hand, elderly people with narcisstic tendencies may make the lockdown more stressful for their caregivers. Kavita Panyam, a Psychologist and a Life Coach shares tips for the caregivers as well as for the senior citizens living alone or together with their children during the ongoing lockdown.
Dealing with senior citizens’ anxiety
We should keep them calm and explain to them that nothing will happen to them. If they don’t listen, do not suffer from a burnout or try to push their boundaries. We should keep our boundaries intact and not allow them to influence us.
Grandchildren and grandparents bonding
While the young parents are busy working from home during the lockdown, it is a good time for grandchildren and grandparents bonding. Grandparents can narrate stories of their childhood to their grandchildren. Grandchildren can also share their own stories. Watching movies together and playing cards is also a good way of bonding.
Keep senior citizens occupied
Keep senior citizens occupied with basic work like peeling and chopping vegetables, refilling jars of stored grains etc. As per their physical fitness, give them work. If they ask for work, do not refuse them and do not say that you will do it. Involve them too in basic house-hold activities, so that they do not feel left out.
Senior citizen who do not want to move in with their children during the lockdown
For those elderly people, who do not wish to move in with their children temporarily, we should not push them. They are comfortable within the confines of their home. We should ensure that we do not get emotional and keep visiting their house regularly during the lockdown, since it’s not advisable to keep going out.
Do not make them dependent
We should definitely take care of the elderly, ensure that they eat well and provide medicines to them from time to time, if advised by the doctor, but we should not make them emotionally dependent on us. Their happiness should not depend on us. Counsel them regarding taking care of their mind, body and soul.
Mentally disconnect from narcisstic senior citizens
Panyam emphasizes the importance of having a mental disconnect if living with narcisstic parents who are senior citizens. Do not feed them extra attention. We should provide them basic care but do not indulge in too much communication which may drain us.
Drawing and maintaining healthy boundaries with narcisstic senior citizens is important. If they keep watching Covid-19 news all the time and try to feed us too with that information, we should keep away. It does not help us nor them.
Compassion for self
If living with senior citizens, do not overdo things for them. Choose unconditional love and compassion for yourself too just the way we show love and compassion towards them.
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