Virtual Emotional Support Counseling for Seniors During Covid
Seniors are one of the most vulnerable groups impacted by COVID-19. Beyond the physical threat, there are serious emotional and mental consequences to quarantine and the pandemic that can negatively impact their health. Seniors who live in nursing homes or are unable to socialize or even leave their house to go about their normal routine.
We believe that there is no age when mental health doesn’t matter. Our virtual counseling services for seniors can provide much-needed support and company during a difficult time.
Risks to Senior Mental Health
The elderly population often experiences mental health problems due to changes in their physical health and environment. Many senior citizens who lived active lives have been confined to their nursing home facilities or homes without anyone to talk to; they are not able to receive as much exercise, mental stimulation or companionship as they were pre-COVID, which can lead to the development of depression and crippling loneliness.
Even those who have family nearby may not be able to see them face-to-face due to social distancing measures. While quarantine is in their best interest, it also places a barrier between them, their loved ones and the outside world.
Health anxiety is also a pressing concern; as many seniors 65 and older also have health conditions, they may be especially high-risk. Simple acts like taking the dog out or going to the supermarket can endanger them, which only leads to greater fear and chronic stress.
These compounded feelings can take a toll on their physical well-being, too. Poor mental health can weaken the immune system, which makes them even more susceptible to illness.
How Counseling Can Help
Virtual counseling provides mental health support at a safe distance. Seniors can connect with a licensed therapist who listens to their concerns and gives them space to process what they are going through. There is not always an answer to resolve someone’s difficult feelings; rather than striving to offer platitudes and false affirmations, we seek to provide reassurance through affirming one’s strength and resilience.
Seniors also have unique worries and needs that deserve to be treated with care and compassion. Our virtual counseling services encompass the unique challenges, anxieties and experiences of the senior population to ensure our services truly resonate with them.
Sometimes, all a senior citizen really needs is just someone to listen and talk to. We want to be there for them while also providing helpful tips they can implement to help themselves.
How You Can Help Your Loved One
Communicate as often as possible, especially if you are not able to physically see your loved one. You can offer to buy their groceries and leave them on their doorstep along with some disinfectant; drive-by greetings, social distance conversations with a mask and daily phone calls can help ease some of the loneliness seniors are facing during this time.
If you live with your senior relative or loved one, emotional support in the form of time spent together is the most valuable. Watch a television program they like, especially if it’s one from their youth that they enjoyed. Listen to their favorite music, do senior exercise videos together and share meals.
Most importantly, check in with how they’re feeling. Many seniors feel cast aside and ignored in today’s fast-paced, digital society. Counseling is just one way you can increase the emotional support in your loved one’s life, but the most valuable thing you can give them is your time and attention.
If you would like to learn more about us and our virtual emotional support counseling, please contact us today.
Couple Counselling / Relationships
How to Talk to Your Partner About Couples Counseling
The decision to go to couples counseling is difficult. Although you may find it necessary, admitting that you need a professional’s help can feel like a personal failure. Couples might avoid the subject because it officiates the haunting feeling that things aren’t going as they should in the relationship.
But the only way to get better is to be honest. Bringing up the idea of couples therapy to your partner can be even more intimidating. You may not have talked about it, or you may fear that suggesting counseling only leads to greater confrontation and distance.
Although it is difficult, addressing the need for therapy when the need arises is always best. Waiting to get help only causes problems to continue and create a greater barrier between communication and intimacy. Couples counseling could be the step you and your partner need to rebuild and reconnect in your relationship.
Starting the Conversation
You should sit down with your partner and let them know exactly why you want to go to counseling. This requires a great deal of vulnerability and honesty, which can be hard to muster. But taking the first step can demonstrate to your partner how committed you are to them and the relationship.
Someone has to make the first move, though going to therapy is a mutual decision. Let your partner know that you love them, and explain what problems have led you to seek therapy without being accusatory.
Rely on I-statements to express yourself. Rather than saying, “You never talk to me anymore,” try, “I feel a disconnect between us, like we don’t talk as much as we used to. I don’t quite know how to reach you, and I’d like to work on that together. I miss sharing things with you.”
It’s important to explain how issues and actions on both sides impact you. Recognize your own partner’s feelings as well. A couples counselor will be there to honor both of your perspectives and your shared bond.
The conversation should also be centered around a goal that you can work toward together. Counseling is not a place to “fix” anyone, because none of us are broken or damaged. Instead, it brings greater awareness to problems and helps people find solutions using their unique strengths.
What Will Happen in Couples Therapy?
We will work with you to identify key issues in the relationship. We do not take sides, but instead opt to build greater trust and respect through mutual empathy. You will both be encouraged to listen with an open mind and heart and take accountability for your own actions.
To avoid falling into the same patterns of conflict, disconnect and avoidance, your therapist will guide the conversation to help you both learn to recognize and value each other’s side of the story. Unifying that story into a healthy, harmonious relationship is the ultimate goal.
Benefits of Couples Counseling
The greatest benefit of couples counseling for many is the opportunity to speak openly. It can be hard for couples to express themselves clearly in a relationship when there is anger, fear and anxiety clouding the connection between them. Therapy gives each person a place to be present, express themselves openly and discuss rather than judge and defend.
Couples from every age and walk of life can benefit from working with a counselor to improve their communication and build upon their strengths as individuals. It can be the stepping stone a couple needs to reach a deeper level of trust and intimacy that only comes from overcoming challenges together.