During this COVID crisis, older people are often more vulnerable. Their vulnerability extends beyond the COVID-19 virus itself, which we know can be lethal for them, but it also can include the stress of isolation and the looming unknown future.
As I continue to have limited contact with my clients, I am beginning to see many difficult consequences of extended, choiceless isolation including:
- Loneliness – many hours spent alone, often with TV news (terrifying and upsetting).
- Worry when an older person doesn’t know when this will end, when they’ll see their loved ones again.
- Frustration with technology which is now a central form of communication with others.
- Frustration with not finding help with technology.
- Frustration with needing more help in general ways than before COVID-19.
- If living in a senior community, not being allowed to leave one’s apartment, the cancellations of in-house programs and community meals.
- Experience of confinement.
- Strong difficult emotions such as anxiety, abandonment, loneliness, and loss of agency and control.
- Anxiety about the demands of living at home such as the risks of contracting the virus through grocery shopping or opening the mail.
- The potentially painful or complicated feelings that accompany the awareness of needing others.
My experience talking with clients who live alone at home or in senior communities has led me to recognize that such conversations can relieve much of their pent up stress. These conversations are a gift of life that can easily be taken for granted until they’re hard to come by.
- Phone conversations are very useful and simple.
- Face Time and Zoom with clients and their relatives can be very supportive and enjoyable.
- In warm and sunny weather, one-to-one visits outdoors, which accommodate social distancing requirements, are often possible.
- One of the benefits of the pandemic is that many people are finding deep appreciation for others and the simple things of life, all of which are enhanced through conversation and relationship.
I warmly extend my time to you in the form of phone meetings as well as Face Time or Zoom, or actual outdoor visits, weather permitting. If you would like to schedule a meeting, please call me at 720-217-9614. I will answer your call myself, with no intermediate office staff. You can also reach me through email at: email@example.com.