We don’t know when it’s going to end, when a cure will be found, how much further it’ll spread, or how we’ll cope if this lockdown extends… The result? Boredom, panic, anxiety, depression, more anxiety and more depression. Well, that’s the covid-19 lockdown in India for you.
Now if your young, agile mind is acting this way during this situation, imagine what your ageing parents would be going through right now—especially if they already suffer from any physical or mental ailments.
Now, there’s nothing you can do to change the scenario except for seriously practising social distancing and maintaining proper hygiene at home. However, there’s a lot you can do to make quarantine better for your ageing parents.
Here are a few ways suggested by Kavita Yadav, founder, director, and lead trainer, JiNa-Living Positively, parenting, life-skills, and counselling centre based in Gurugram:
1. Keep them informed
The best way to help your elderly parents during these times is to share science-backed information with them to keep them from panicking or believing the speculations spread through messages and social media. Inform them about the seriousness of the situation and the pandemic, so that they understand the importance of staying indoors.
2. Share the good news too
Surely, they need to know the graveness of the situation, just as much as they need to be informed about the positive side of it. Talk about the number of covid-19 patients recovering, the efforts of the government in containing the virus and in providing household necessities at your doorstep, the air-quality index and the environment improving, and so on. This can induce hope and positivity in your parents and help them feel better about the situation.
3. Try to understand their mental state
Just like the pandemic-caused lockdown has affected your mental health, it has affected your parents’ too. In fact, it might be worse for them because with ageing comes a lack of patience, crankiness, and a hell lot of insecurities.
Know that the fear of an uncertain future, the anxiety stemming from the pandemic, and the loneliness due to social distancing and isolation can be gruesome for the elderly. More so, if your ageing parents are already suffering from some physical ailment or mental health issues.
4. Be polite with them
Do not be rude to them and don’t let your frustration or anxiety pass on to them. If and when they’re being cranky or unreasonable, reassure them about the situation getting better due to people taking adequate hygiene precautions and practising social distancing.
In fact, talk to them at regular intervals so that they know they have your attention and support during this tough period.
5. Check on them
From groceries and medicines to any other essential that your parents use on a regular basis, ask them what they need and get it home delivered for them so that they know they can have what they want easily and don’t panic.
This will also make them feel cared for. Additionally, make sure they have their meals and meds on time.
6. Let them feel more involved
Ask them to help you with the household chores or join you in that game of ludo. Read out a book to them or ask them to teach you how to cook. Learn a new hobby from them and teach them one of yours too.
7. Make ‘em tech-savvy
Teach them how to operate mobile phone applications, social media apps, video-playing apps, and mobile games.
They can pass some time while enjoying the fruits of technology and learning something new.
8. Encourage them to exercise
Working out boosts the production of happy hormones in the body and can uplift your mood while keeping the blood circulation going. Mild stretching and a low-impact workout can be a perfect way to keep your ageing parents happy and healthy during the quarantine.
Through this all, also remember to take care of yourself. Because if you’re not healthy and happy, you won’t be able to help your parents reach that stage either!