September 1, 2020

Mental Health

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many seniors are concerned with their physical health, but what about their mental health?

Dr. Adnan Arif, a psychiatrist with the Institute for Personal Development, a member of DuPage Medical Group, and Bev Patterson Frier join the group on Seniors Today to discuss how older adults can keep themselves mentally healthy during this time.

Anxiety and Depression

Dr. Arif says that the pandemic leads to a lot of challenges with mental health because of the isolation.

“Anxiety is the fear of the unknown, that’s what I tell my patients,” says Arif. “And it’s the fear of the worst case scenario.”

Isolation can increase feelings of anxiety and depression.

“Isolation is depression or anxiety’s best friend,” adds Arif.  He recommends that seniors make the effort to use technology in order to stay connected.

What Can Seniors Do?

Dr. Arif recommends trying alternative coping skills, like resonate breathing, which is six seconds of breathing.

Senior Bev Patterson Frier shared her own ways of coping, including bird feeders, a daily word jumble, and doing something for other people.

“If you have a friend that maybe needs some support, or a call,” says Frier, “try to cheer up somebody else and it will make you feel better.”

Resources Available to Help Older Adults Who are Struggling

Illinois Call4Calm Text Line

If you or a loved one are struggling with stress related to the COVID-19 pandemic and need emotional support, text TALK to 552020 for English or HABLAR for Spanish. This service is free and available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. People seeking assistance will remain anonymous and will provide only their first name and zip code, which enables the service to link you to a counselor in your area who is knowledgeable about available local resources.

Crisis Text Line

The Crisis Text Line serves anyone, in any type of crisis, 24-hours a day. Text HOME to: 741741. Trained crisis counselors will respond and help you.

Institute for Personal Health – (815) 942-6323

Linden Oak Behavioral Health – (630) 305-5027

DuPage County Senior Citizens Services – (800) 942-9412

Senior Services Center of Will County – (815) 723-9713

Northeastern Illinois Agency on Aging – (800) 528-2000

NAMI DuPage – (630) 752-0066

City of Naperville Senior Resources

Seniors Today

Seniors Today is a show focused on what seniors and their families need to know to live their best lives.

Our Hosts:

Dennise Vaughn of Homewatch Caregivers

Homewatch CareGivers® believes good care should not interfere with your quality of life. We deliver the compassionate care our clients need to help complete day-to-day activities while still maintaining a healthy dose of independence.

Lisa Stover, founder Presto Real Estate Service

PRESTO® is focused on helping you, your parents or a loved one transition smoothly to a new home. We understand that relocating can be overwhelming, especially for someone who has lived in their home for a long period of time. We can help ease the transition to a new home by assembling a team of licensed, insured professionals who will help make every step of the move a worry-free experience for you and your loved ones.

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