Children do not see friends during a pandemic, they are not allowed to go to school or to favorite places. Their parents are worried about their work and their family. Besides them, there are also seniors who have been losing their lives for over a year and now have to live in almost complete isolation. “It’s a long-term attack for them. They keep saying, you’re the endangered group, you’re going to die, no one will take care of you, “ means volunteer Dobroslava for Blesk Zprávy.
Dobroslava is one of the people who was not lazy, and already in the spring wave of the pandemic she joined the Red Cross and the organization Life 90, where she had a lone senior on her ear almost daily. “Initially, I had a few calls a day, and it was very difficult to get mentally armored so as not to let those lonely and sad people get drawn into depression. I talked a lot about it with my loved ones and with a friend, what she does in a retirement home, “ the volunteer described this psychologically demanding experience.
Dobroslava: The mood does not change, they are still knocked out
Seniors were already worried about loneliness before the pandemic, but now this negative trend is strengthening. In addition to the chronically ill, people over the age of 65 belong to the most at-risk group. The covid-19 disease can cost them their lives, so they have to resort to more drastic isolation. And this is not a negligible part of the population. In the Czech Republic, one in five people is over 65 years old.
“It takes time and it escalates somewhere. For example, in the autumn I saw a lady who I took here for mushrooms, she was fine then. But then I saw her at Christmas and suddenly she was knocked out. It’s just been a long time, “he said. The volunteer continues, who, in addition to helping on the lines, also deals with the issue of disabled people.
Aleš (79) also had a problem during the holidays. “The worst thing for me was that I didn’t know what it would be like at Christmas. At first I was very bad about it. But then I just came to terms with the fact that I wouldn’t get an answer to that question for a while, and at least I was a little relieved. “ described a senior for the organization Život 90, which interpreted his statement to Blesk.
A smile à la pencil in your teeth will also help
According to the survey, three out of ten people feel lonely every week, as Life 90 describes it. And it’s not just seniors. “Perhaps it will come as a surprise to some that young people and students have experienced the greatest degree of loneliness. They often lost a huge piece of life, formerly filled with social activities. And all of a sudden, “ states the psychologist of the organization ŽIVOT 90 Tereza Hacová, who previously explained to Blesk Správy that loneliness does not necessarily stem only from an empty apartment, but also from the feeling of detachment from society.
The volunteer confirms this statement with her personal experience. People didn’t call just for loneliness. They wanted to know the opinion of others about the pandemic, they longed to share their experiences and fears, and sometimes they perceived the pandemic as a punishment from God. “It’s human to human. One lady wanted to talk about books, another was very fond of discussing moral aspects, and as a relatively strong believer, she focused on whether we did not deserve the coronavirus. “ comments.
Dobroslava is no longer involuntary on the line “in full field”. Nevertheless, she still has contact with one of the senior women, with whom she calls at least an hour a week. “I already take her as part of the family,” Blesk confided to the News. Unfortunately, when asked if there was any universal advice on how to help such people, she answered in the negative.
“It simply came to our notice then. You have to listen to a person, unselfishly. A lot of people talk to someone when they talk to someone. It’s about listening. As for the elderly, listening is often a problem for them, because the elderly repeat themselves and repeat one incident more than once. ” states.
According to the expert and psychologist Hacová, an accidental smile on the street may be enough. “When you smile at another person, so-called mirror neurons start working in his head. These are the basis of empathy and reflect in the brain what they see in other people as emotions. So when they find out that someone is smiling, it usually gives them a signal that they are safe. They then tend to lead us to bring the smile back, “ he says.
In addition, a smile on a passerby does not necessarily have to be spontaneous. But once you have it on your face, according to experts, it can also improve your day. “A number of scientific studies prove it, such as Fritz Strack’s famous experiment. The he gave the research participants a pen, which they inserted between their teeth and squeezed it. This created a smile on their faces. He gave the other group a pen instructed to press it between their lips. In this way, they began to frown. He then released animated films to all participants and you can guess who experienced them more positively and more entertainingly. Yes, you are smiling, “he explains.
Experts also advise a random “small talk” – a relaxed conversation about banalities such as the weather. “You can start gradually, from smiles, through greetings to a few sentences thrown in the elevator. Even such small connections want training and repetition makes a master. Not everyone will want to answer, and that’s fine. “ adds Hacová on how to approach a person we have doubts about whether he is mentally well at it.
Hope for vaccination
So far, the most striking light at the end of the tunnel is vaccination for seniors, but of course also for the rest of the population. People over the age of 65 are among the first to line up for a vaccine. Even before them are people over 85 who are already vaccinated at this time. By July, however, it is estimated that the entire senior population and first-line people – ie health professionals – should be vaccinated.
Try consulting your psychologist or psychotherapist about your condition – at this time it is also through a video call or a phone call. In addition, there are hotlines that operate anonymously, non-stop and free of charge.
Senior phone – 800 157 157
For adults – First psychic help line – 116 123
Source: Blesk.cz by www.blesk.cz.
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