In these extraordinary times National Seniors Australia is here to help our members and their communities. If you haven't already done so, subscribe to our free, weekly eNewsletter for updates on COVID-19 and other issues impacting older Australians. You might also like to encourage other people to subscribe to ensure that accurate, up to date information is circulated among your friends and family during this difficult period.
Below are some tips to help you deal with social isolation and stay in touch with friends and family.
Make a contact list of people to call and check in daily or every few days. Start with those in your close circle and then move outwards.
You can go through your old letters, address books, alumni contacts, email addresses and memorabilia to reconnect with “long-lost” friends, classmates or co-workers.
We often find support by offering others support. It’s in giving that we receive.
Provide empathy, understanding and comfort. Exchange knowledge about local resources for medical services, supermarket supplies and news updates.
Many older adults use videoconferencing tools such as Skype, FaceTime and Zoom.
These allow for video conversations — and in these times, we need to have good conversations and “think out loud” as we cope with coronavirus issues.
If you are not confident using the technology, a family member or friend may be able to assist you. But the most important tool is the phone.
Other suggestions include reaching out the old-fashioned way via greeting cards and letters or sending text messages and emails with your photos attached.
People generally feel better when they have a purpose.
Volunteering to help others can ease anxiety and helplessness – and there are even programs you can participate in from home.
To learn more, visit the Volunteering Australia website.
There are plenty of other things you can do to keep busy as well.
Make gifts for people. Learn another language or a musical instrument.
Write, paint, knit, read or find another hobby that interests you.
Share podcasts, emails and links with family and friends. Listen to music and play all kinds of soothing and cheerful sounds to boost your mood.
In these tough times, it’s perfectly natural to feel afraid or lonely.
Find a person you can share your worries and feelings with over the phone. It may be a friend, loved one or professional.
If you are feeling overwhelmed, call Lifeline on 13 11 14.
Carers are also welcome to call Carers Australia on 1800 242 636.
Remember to talk to your GP about your mental health.
If you previously received help from a psychologist, therapist or faith-based professional, you might like to reach out to them as well.
Thanks to aarp.org for providing some of the information featured in this article.
At National Seniors, we're committed to giving you the latest information and health updates to help you live your best life.
As the independent voice of older Australians, we're also interested in hearing your thoughts on the key issues impacting us all.
Join the conversation by following us on Facebook or Twitter, or send us your feedback via the Contact us page.
You are also welcome to become a National Seniors member.
From exclusive member benefits and competitions to discounts on insurance products, we want to offer you genuine value for money.
Plus, your membership fees go straight back to our advocacy, research and education programs.