Staying healthy and happy during isolation
At the moment, we’re all being told to stay home and isolate to protect our health. This goes against the advice older people often receive, which is to stay active and engaged to combat loneliness and other poor health implications. Because it’s more important than ever to stay at home during the pandemic, we’ve put together this list of ideas to help you stay healthy, happy and socially connected in your own home.
Remember, physical distancing doesn’t mean social isolation. Now is a really important time to maintain contact with family and friends. You can do this by phone, email or technology such as FaceTime, Skype, Google Hangouts or Zoom, which allow you to see the other person at the end of the line.
If you own a smartphone, laptop, computer or iPad, with a little help it’s not too hard to set up video calls with family and friends. Try to encourage those you connect with regularly to all use the same technology. This will make it easier for you to become familiar with a particular system quickly. Ask a family member or friend to go through the set-up with you over the phone, or to email you step-by-step photos. If you need more help, contact your KinCare Customer Care Manager.
If you have grandchildren, another good way to stay in contact is to write them a long letter and put it in the post. Receiving ‘snail mail’ is such a novelty for young children. These days it’s possible to purchase stamps online from Australia Post, but if you do need to visit the Post Office to mail your letters or stock up on stamps, make sure you practice physical distancing while being out and about and wash your hands before and after your outing.
Staying as active as possible is good for both your physical and mental health. Exercise helps to maintain your mobility and ensure you can remain living independently in your own home for as long as possible.
If you usually go walking with friends or attend a group exercise class which has been cancelled due to COVID-19 Coronavirus, your studio or provider may be running classes through Zoom or via YouTube – check with your instructor.
If you’re looking for guidance on gentle exercises you can do from your lounge room which can be practised daily, ask KinCare how one of their qualified physiotherapists can help.
While it’s not recommended that older Australians leave their homes, if you have a garden, try to spend 30 minutes a day walking around the yard for some light exercise. The fresh air and Vitamin D will also be good for your health and wellbeing.
Read, watch, listen, learn
Being at home might mean more time for activities you usually don’t find time for, such as reading, catching up on your favourite TV programs, listening to music or reconnecting with an old hobby or a much loved book or activity.
Thanks to the internet, you can now find a Podcast to listen to on any topic you wish, and if you’re interested in learning a new skill, it’s easy to find online courses or YouTube instructional videos for just about anything.
Get back to nature and spend some quality time in the garden or tending to your potted plants and herbs. Gardening is known to reduce stress, improve hand strength and bring a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment.
Plan for the future
Perhaps you’ve been thinking of taking up a new hobby, dedicating some time to volunteering or adopting a pet? Now is a good time to research your options and contact organisations. It will also give you something new to look forward to when the restrictions are lifted.
Look after your mental health
While it’s important to stay informed about the pandemic with the latest updates, switching off the news for part of the day is good for your mental health. Watching a news update in the morning, then checking in again in the evening is plenty.
As much as possible, try to stick to a daily routine and keep some normality in your life. Maintain healthy eating habits, keep to your sleep patterns and consider doing your grocery shopping online or with assistance from KinCare to avoid visiting the supermarket.
Remember, this way of life isn’t forever and you aren’t alone. Ask for help from neighbours, family and friends. We’re all in this together.