Coronavirus Pandemic: Thoughts of a Senior

The Coronavirus Pandemic has affected millions. As a senior, you might be feeling the stress, fear, and chaos as our community puts preventive measures into place. It’s a frightening time! However, it is still possible to thrive.

Colorado Springs Thriveworks believes in fighting for the whole person – physical, emotional, and mental health. By staying home, we are protecting your physical health. By offering online counseling sessions, we’re protecting your mental health.

But in a pandemic, what is mental health? How do the challenges facing seniors differ from the rest of the population?

We’ve collected the thoughts of local seniors in the Colorado Springs, CO El Paso community to highlight some of the concerns you might be facing. An online counseling session can address any number of these, as well as issues not shown here.

Colorado Springs, CO Thriveworks serving El Paso communities understands that the coronavirus is much more than a distant threat for seniors. That is why we are doing our part to flatten the curve by working at home and offering online counseling. If you have questions about online counseling, schedule an online appointment or call us at 719-266-3919

What are some of the concerns facing seniors today? 

Mental health is intrinsically linked to physical health. Taking care of both can make you healthier and happier. But with stay-at-home orders in place and social isolation becoming necessary, seniors are missing the social aspect of normal life.

“Since we’re no longer in the workforce many of us look forward to doctor appointments, hair appointments, eating out.  Now it’s just long boring days at home.” 

Loneliness, apathy, and hopelessness are all real struggles. But Thriveworks Colorado Springs wants to remind you that you are not alone! Even just calling your family or talking with them over skype or facetime can bring joy to a long day. Our counselors are also here to talk with you over the phone or using video counseling. The technology is easy to use, and we’ll walk you through the steps.

Another concern of seniors comes through the danger of leaving their home.

“I’ve become paranoid about being around other people.  For instance, when parking in a lot this morning someone in the next car got out.  My first thought was ‘oh no there’s a person!’ I waited until he was gone before getting out.  

We went for a walk on a trail and I almost felt anxious when we met someone coming from the opposite direction.  Normally we always smile and say hi or even stop and say a few words.  Now I don’t say a word and am offended when they say hi, thinking about them spreading germs.”

It can feel like everything in the world is out to harm you. This, along with a constant stream of news and little social contact, can increase anxiety. If you’re experiencing headaches, stomach pains, trouble sleeping, or constant, looping thoughts around worst-case scenarios, consider talking to a professional counselor or to a caring family member. Caution is absolutely necessary during this time, but that doesn’t mean we have to stop living.

Another concern is how changed routines will put seniors at risk for physical health concerns unrelated to the coronavirus.

“On the same trail there were steps going down.  I always hold on to hand railings because my balance and foot dexterity aren’t very good.  I walked down without holding on for fear of germs.  This could be dangerous for other seniors who feel this way.”

You’re stuck between a rock and a hard space! On one hand, going out risks exposure to coronavirus bodies. But not going out, or avoiding certain places, can be risky for other aspects of your health. It’s a balance, and one Colorado Springs Thriveworks can help you work out with online counseling.

Of course, the main concern of seniors isn’t about themselves at all. It’s about their kids. One senior summed it up nicely:

“Generally, we seem more concerned about our kid’s income and wellbeing. Which is nothing new, once a parent always a parent.”

If you’re in the high-risk group of 60+, then you’ve probably lived through a lot worse than the coronavirus. This is just another thing to deal with. The financial wellbeing of your kids, however, is something that will never wholly go away. Stress, worry, and even anxiety around your loved ones is common. While it comes from a caring heart, too much stress can start to negatively impact your health. Taking care of both your family and yourself might look like calling them regularly, talking to a counselor over phone or video counseling, or doing something creative like is recounted here:

“We miss not being able to see our kids and grandkids at will.  Nancy said [her daughter] dropped off a box of supplies (Kleenex, tp, wipes, etc.) on her front steps and picked up a box with homemade buns and cake Nancy made for her and the kids.  The kids were in the car but because of [her husband’s] health problems [her daughter] wouldn’t allow any contact. [Her daughter] is a respiratory tech and so aware of the consequences.”

The coronavirus pandemic affects everyone regardless of age. As a senior, your experience is unique and deserves to be heard. If you’re feeling trapped, hopeless, or lonely, Colorado Springs Thriveworks is here for you.

And if you’re not a senior, please do your part in keeping coronavirus contained. Wash your hands, cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, and practice social distancing as outlined by your local government and health professionals. Afterall, while coronavirus may not be a life or death problem for you, it is for others.

While life today is tumultuous, together we can still live and thrive. The Colorado Springs and El Paso community has come together in a beautiful way. Together, we will come out of this pandemic stronger than before. Don’t forget, wash your hands and call a loved one today.


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