Coronavirus tips: How the over 70s can keep mentally fit during social distancing

Coronavirus tips: How the over 70s can keep mentally fit during social distancing

Coronavirus has the elderly stuck in their homes for up to three months. Leading psychologist, Dr Martina Paglia, shares her advice to remain mentally well.

Concerned for the wellbeing of people over the age of 70, Dr Paglia said: “To take away their independence, freedom and dignity – even if it is temporarily and for the good of everyone – will no doubt have long-lasting effects on the mental health of many.”

Founder of The International Psychology Clinic, Dr Paglia is hoping the government will fund and set-up a free, national counselling service that is available 24-7.

This is a service she hopes will run alongside Samaritans.


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Wanting to make people’s time in their home more bearable, Dr Paglia shares her tips for self isolation.

“The key is to maintain a set routine,” she begins. “Stick to your regular sleeping patterns and mealtimes.”

She adds: “Keep both your mind and body exercised by doing puzzles, word games, stretching and light yoga.

“Use the time to set goals – plan your week ahead and reward yourself for each task or challenge achieved.”

Stressing how important routine is, she says: “Maintain structure each day.”

Moving on to relationships, we as social creatures, need human interaction.

Dr Pagalia comments: “Make sure you check in with someone in your support network over the phone, or through Skype or FaceTime.”

She continues: “Life may have changed overnight, but we need to adapt for a number of weeks or months.

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“By accepting this change and quickly re-establishing a new normal, isolation for the elderly can become easier and less of a devastating blow.”

So far, the government’s social distancing measures is advisory.

Although, highly recommended for people over the age of 70, there’s no law enforcement to stop people going about their usual activities.

It’s at the person’s own risk if they choose to continue to live normally, as if COVID-19 isn’t a real threat.


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The NHS want to clarify that self isolation requires people to stay at home.

This means not going to work, schools, using public transport or going out in public areas.

it also means avoiding the use of taxis, and not having any visitors in your home. 

The health body advises people to order their food in either by phone or online. 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson addresses the public every evening to inform the public about the latest happenings in regards to coronavirus.

At present, Boris Johnson has declined to rule out stricter measures in the coming days.

The Prime Minister has been conducting press briefings around 5pm.

Expect another briefing this evening live on Sky News, BBC News and ITV. Tune in to find out more.

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