Many older adults suffer from loneliness and these feelings may be heightened during this challenging time. Older adults who live alone and have fewer friends or family members may experience greater loneliness. Technology has been an important tool for helping individuals stay connected despite being physically separated. Evidence suggests that some technologies can facilitate social interactions that keep older adults connected to their loved ones, reducing feelings of loneliness. But these technologies are sometimes difficult to use, especially for individuals who have cognitive impairment and have trouble remembering, learning new things, concentrating, or making decisions.
There are a few self-care strategies that older adults can implement to positively benefit their mental health and wellbeing. Exercising at home or walking outdoors (while keeping a safe distance) can provide an uplifting mood boost. Mindfulness practices including meditation may also have positive effects for older adults. Evidence has also shown that sharing personal stories and memories can help reduce feelings of loneliness and depression. A phone call or video chat with a friend or family member can be good for the soul!
We have compiled some of our resources on mental health and wellbeing to help you and your loved ones navigate challenging times. Now more than ever, it is important to check-in with friends and family members (by phone or through means such as email in-place of in-person visits) to see how they are doing.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call 1-833-456-4566 toll free (In QC: 1-866-277-3553), 24/7 or visit www.crisisservicescanada.ca.