With next month marking a year of national lockdown, it’s important to evaluate one’s lifestyle and wellbeing to ensure mental health is being catered for. This is especially important for those over the age of 50 as the heightened risk of Covid-19 infection has resulted in increased loneliness for many people.
Durban-based counselling psychologist, Charlene McIntosh, said the pandemic and increased isolation have resulted in fear and anxiety for older people: “The increased risk to health means they are housebound or only venturing out when extremely necessary. It is not easy to cope with prolonged confinement, so seniors may experience depressive symptoms and deterioration in cognition.”
Watching for signs of depression
McIntosh said the disruption of day-to-day activities, in particular, can negatively impair cognitive function in older people – as outlined by the World Health Organisation.
“During the pandemic, we’ve noted persistent symptoms such as regular and debilitating worry about routine activities,” explained McIntosh. “Lack of social events and support also heighten stress and decrease coping skills, therefore older individuals tend to fixate on the uncertainty of this pandemic and feel agitated.”
She said other signs that could denote mental health decline include increased anger, changes in eating and sleeping patterns, loss of interest in activities that once held attention, increased feelings of isolation, sadness and possible suicidal thoughts.
According to McIntosh, all approaches to dealing with the impact of the pandemic should involve holistic interventions that involve emotional, spiritual, social, and physical components to meet mental and other health needs.
Tips for improving mental health include:
· Limiting media exposure to avoid constant negative input;
· Eating a well-balanced diet;
· Keeping to simple yet consistent routines;
· Doing some form of daily exercise;
· Keeping in contact with loved ones and relying on support networks; and
· Getting creative.
Why Renishaw Hills is the ideal space in 2021
“One of the biggest takeaways from our residents, during the year of lockdown, has been the positive impact the Renishaw Hills’ ‘living the holiday’ lifestyle has provided for holistic wellbeing,” said Phil Barker of Renishaw Property Developments. “Certainly, many of our prospective buyers have noted that lifestyle is a top priority when looking for property in 2021, and that’s what sets us apart. The Renishaw Hills lifestyle is centred on what we refer to as the three ‘Fs’ – freedom, fitness and friendship. This is invaluable for maintaining physical and mental wellness.”
1. Natural open spaces
This year will see a continued need for outdoor socialising to minimise the risk of infection. With the sub-tropical KZN South Coast climate, constant sea breeze and exquisite indigenous landscape within Renishaw Hills, residents are able to maintain connections while keeping safe. And the state-of-the-art security system means there’s no restrictions in movement and associated anxiety.
2. Well-designed homes
Every home within Renishaw Hills maximises on natural light and spacious living with a personal garden for each home, carefully crafted by leading indigenous landscapers. So, even when residents are home, there’s no sense of confinement or isolation.
3. Endless activities
The wealth of space within Renishaw Hills and community of like-minded individuals means there’s always something happening! From walks and cycles through the on-site nature trails through to socially-distanced crafting, residents keep fit and active every day.
Start a new adventure by making every day a holiday at Renishaw Hills. For more information about the mature lifestyle village, or to book a tour with all relevant health-and-safety measures adhered to, contact Renishaw Hills on [email protected] or visit www.renishawhills.co.za