Surviving the Lockdown – Lessons Learned from Aging Seniors

By Sheila Kun RN, BSN, MS, CPN, FCCP

By now most of us who live in California have a taste of what it is like to be lock-downed in the confines of our home. This virus spares no one – the rich, the poor, the famous, the lonely, the old and the young. For most of us, this is a novel, universal health crisis that none of us has experienced in our life time. However, if you reflect on the process of aging, does it resonate what it might be like in your sunset years? Allow me to do the comparison.

You – during this COVID 19 epidemic                Aging seniors – with chronic disability

Loss of freedom Loss of mobility due to physical limitation
Loss of work Being “retired” at age 65/66
Loss of income Living on SSI and 401K income
No driving Unable to drive due to vision or physical issues
No recreation activity Being left alone at home
Total disruption of daily routine No work – have plenty of time on hand
Social isolation Not part of the social fabric
Feeling sad Depression, anxiety, lonely
Fear of being infected Decline health
Feeling loss of control Dependent on others to even daily routine
Fear of the unknown future What is death like?
Concern over your family Missing friends and families
Feeling aimless and non-productive It is a long day everyday

Are you able to see the similarities of where you are and what some of our feeble seniors are facing on a daily basis? We all hope that the viral season will come to an end soon. Until then, let us come up with coping strategies borrowing the experience of those seniors who have embraced these “natural” challenges. Let us face it, these are facts of life and unless we take these issues head on, these could be pitfalls for misery.

We are very fortunate that many of our seniors are mentors for life lessons. Those who have successfully accept these life challenges and live gracefully are folks with the following characteristics:

  • They are optimistic people, enjoy life as they come, and always focus on the positive aspects of life in general.
  • They accept their limitation (physical or economical).
  • They are gracious about receiving help when needed.
  • They develop a new routine that gives them a new norm every day.
  • They exercise every day.
  • They have healthy choices in their food selection.
  • They maintain contact with old acquaintances.
  • They create new friendship whenever possible.
  • They continue to learn new things with their ample time on hand.
  • They still make a difference in their family/community.
  • They have strong faith that God will provide.
  • They are at peace that one day they will return Home with the Lord.

Are you able to benefit from the sage and wisdom of our seniors?

Your homework assignment from the Care Ministry this week: see which is the above strategy you can adapt during this COVID 19 crisis?

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