Senior Alternatives

Care Management and Home Care Services
COVID-19: Coping and Support

March 24, 2020

There are so many sources of stress during the COVID-19 pandemic , it’s normal to feel some anxiety. Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations.  How you respond to the outbreak can depend on your background, the things that make you different from other people, and the community you live in. The most important thing to remember is that you are not alone! There are many ways to feel and get connected during this unusual time. Here are some ways to cope with stress and anxiety amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

There’s a fine line between staying informed and feeling overwhelmed by the news. Rely on trusted forms of communication, such as the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization, and give yourself a break from the news and social media from time to time. Utilizing your support network can be very helpful, just be sure that you reach out to people who will give you support and not amplify your stress. 

Remember, social distancing does not mean social isolation. Now, more than ever, people need to find smart ways to stay connected. This can be done through your church, social group or daily neighborhood email blasts. Of course, don’t forget about good old fashioned phone calls! And for those of you who are not elderly – why not make it a point to check in on your older friends and relatives? Such thoughtfulness is always greatly appreciated.

Try to keep busy, maybe by tackling a house project, or simply taking care of your body. Take deep breaths, do some stretching, or listen to an audiobook. Try to eat healthy meals and get plenty of sleep.

We have learned that older people are more likely to have serious COVID-19 illness. This may be because immune systems change with age, making it harder to fight off diseases and infection. Older adults also are more likely to have underlying health conditions that make it harder to cope with and recover from illness. So, stay home if possible, wash your hands often for at least 20 seconds, avoid close contact (6 feet) with people who don’t live with you, and clean and disinfect frequently touched services.

If you, or someone you care about, are feeling overwhelmed with emotions and would like to talk with a trained peer, call the Institute on Aging’s Friendship Line: 800-971-0016. Remember, this is a moment in time, not forever.


Remember, social distancing does not mean social isolation. Now, more than ever, people need to find smart ways to stay connected.

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