1. Older adults, especially those in isolation and those who have cognitive decline/dementia, may become more anxious, angry, stressed, agitated, and withdrawn during the outbreak/while in quarantine. Provide practical and emotional support through informal networks (families) and health professionals.
2. Share simple facts about what is going on and give clear information about how to reduce risk of infection in words older people with/without cognitive impairment can understand. Repeat the information whenever necessary. Instructions need to be communicated in a clear, concise, respectful and patient way. And it may also be helpful for information to be displayed in writing or pictures. Engage their family and other support networks in providing information and helping them practice prevention measures (e.g. handwashing etc.)
3. Encourage older adults with expertise, experiences and strengths to volunteer in community efforts to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak. For example, the well/healthy retired older population can provide peer support, neighbour checking, and childcare for medical personnel restricted in hospitals fighting against COVID-19.
Source: World Health Organization. (2020, March 6). Mental Health Considerations during COVID-19 Outbreak.
Retrieved from https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronavirusemental-health-considerations.pdf?sfvrsn=6d3578af_2