Isolation: How Do We Handle it?

Posted by Teresa, Volunteer Mentor @hopeful33250, Mar 16, 2020

As boundaries are being mandated in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19, these boundaries are affecting every area of our lives. Many hospitals, assisted living facilities, places of worship, libraries, restaurants, community centers are being closed to visitors and public gatherings. For many of us, these keep us from our typical ways of connecting with others and engaging with a supportive community.

What are you doing to keep yourself connected?

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Post-COVID Recovery & COVID-19 group.

@lioness

@wandajo Im so sorry to hear about you predicament . Im sorry about the passing of your husband . Do you have any relatives that you can contact ,brothers or sisters, do you have a good relationship with your son . Would he be able to help you out ? I moved from Pa to Ca so I could help my son and wife with there baby my grandson is now 12 ,has his own friends dont see them anymore but Im fortunate to live in a senior where I have friends here . Do you have any crafts you like to do ? I like art work and adult coloring books they are so relaxing to do . Are you settled in with a new Dr? If your not maybe you should look for one he may have some ideas to help you over the depression it maybe only at this moment and wont last . Do you get out and try to make new friends ,go to shops , . I too cant have pets here but now at my age it would be hard to take care of them. Here on connect we care and try to give people what helps us with same problems . Others will chime in here that may have other ideas . Keep coming back here so we can help you .

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My parents are gone, had 3 brothers and they are all gone, family members live in another state, I am disable and 79 years old, can not travel and no money, panic attacks for years, after my husband passed 2 years ago .Doctor gave me xanex, but don't want to take pills if Ican help it.

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@wandajo44

My husband has died . only one child, lives in another town, had to move and landlord will not let me have a pet, which I have had all my life. I am having panic attacks, no friends. I am very lonely

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SHORTSHOT80/NANCY…..FIND ANOTHER PLACE TO LIVE. i CAN'T BE WITHOUT MY "aBBI" EITHER. i WUOLD FINE SOMEWHERE ELSE TO LIVE AND i WOULD DO IT NOW! i WOULD EVEN FIND SOMEONE TO HELP. iN THE CITY WHERE YOU ARE THERE SHOULD BE SOME ADULT HELP.. CHECK IT OUT…NANCY

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@shortshot80

SHORTSHOT80/NANCY…..FIND ANOTHER PLACE TO LIVE. i CAN'T BE WITHOUT MY "aBBI" EITHER. i WUOLD FINE SOMEWHERE ELSE TO LIVE AND i WOULD DO IT NOW! i WOULD EVEN FIND SOMEONE TO HELP. iN THE CITY WHERE YOU ARE THERE SHOULD BE SOME ADULT HELP.. CHECK IT OUT…NANCY

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I live in a very small town, cannot afford rent in bigger towns

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@amberpep

I hate to admit this, but I would much rather be alone than with anyone else, except my dog and cat. I know that's not healthy and my therapist and I have talked about it several times. But, that's how it is ….. I just feel more comfortable and safer that way.
abby

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Hi, @amberpep, I have lived alone for many years and while I like and enjoy the company of others, I also very much need my private space and time. Because of this, I think it has been much easier for me to adjust to the self-quarantine I imposed on myself on March 13th.
On 5/29th, exactly 11 weeks after isolation, my coffee maker went out. I hadn't driven since 3/13th but did gear up like a mummy and headed over at opening to the nearby Target to purchase a coffeemaker. Luckily, my store had a separate enclosed "customer service" area. I told the rep. the brand, model and price of what I needed, it had shown "in stock" on the website, and asked if an employee could please go bring one to that desk for me to purchase because not only was I elderly, I also have serious compromising health issues.

While waiting for the purchase, I watched people entering the store. Not One of Twenty Three shoppers entered wearing a mask! The two employees I dealt with did. I am grateful that the employees wore masks; I live in Texas where hair salons, tattoo parlors, bars and in-dining places along with churches and everything else under the sun are now wide open. I came home, showered/ shampooed and thoroughly cleaned my new purchase and its packing materials and tossed clothes in the washing machine and masks and gloves in the trash.

It was traumatic for me to enter that store after not driving for 11 weeks. It was disturbing to count the people not wearing masks. My kitty, Precious, listened to me gripe about others who are selfishly disregarding the infectious disease experts who continue to recommend wearing masks and practice social distancing.

I stay busy with gardening, neighborhood walks, reading, Netflix movies, mystery series and documentaries. I enjoy PBS programs and gardening. trying new recipes and staying in touch with those I care about by phone, Zoom and new friends made on Mayo Connect threads.

Are you finding hobbies or possibly new interests that keep your mind occupied on recreational or pleasant diversional activities? I started "growing" veggie scraps like celery, cabbage, carrots, for the fun of seeing what might transpire. Proud to boast that both my celery and lettuce and green onions are responding nicely and it is fun to check on their progress and keep them watered and transplanted into potting soil as needed.

I limit the amount of tv news I watch. I admire Gov. Cuomo and time my brunch/lunch time with his daily news briefings. I usually now watch one local evening news broadcast and that does it for me. Too much news is just too much for me.

What about you? What, besides the wonderful companionship of your two fab pets keeps you going day to day?

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@wandajo44

My husband has died . only one child, lives in another town, had to move and landlord will not let me have a pet, which I have had all my life. I am having panic attacks, no friends. I am very lonely

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Hi, @wandajo44, I am single now also and my one daughter lives out-of-state. Loneliness is a bear and it can happen whether we have a family nearby or a spouse or a senior community filled with others. I met a close cyber friend through a gardening internet group.

She lives in a multi-family bldg in Queens, NY. I live in a one person (with kitty) residence in TX. Her daily life challenges and mine are so different that it is like daily corresponding with a person living on a different continent or planet. smiles

Finding the Mayo Connect site, first for a serious kidney diagnosis, opened up a whole new avenue of interest, help, and encouragement for me. When Mayo added the COVID-19 interest threads, it became an important part of my daily "go-to-activity".

I am 76 and most of my longtime friends have moved, either to be closer to family or to more health oriented facilities. Some have died and I miss those decades long friendships. However, each night I list 3 items to work on for the next day. Although I am not feeling energetic or ambitious by any means and the tasks are not large, they get me going each morning. Taking frequent, early neighborhood walks gives me a new perspective on the day and helps my spirits. There are many virtual tours we can see on the internet. Nature/animal and gardening tours are great stress relievers for me.

Do you have phone contact with others you are friends with or care about? I call several of my neighbors, one each day, to just check in on how they are doing. I like to be outside when weather permits. Are you in an area or bldg where you have a terrace for some sunshine or a place that you feel safe to walk about in?

My NY friend is newly widowed and fears going on the elevator for her mail or to the communal laundry room. She says she practices deep breathing before stepping out into her crowded hall because of panic attacks and suits up to the hilt when leaving the bldg to shop for her groceries and prescriptions. What type of establishment are you living in? Do you feel safe going outside for some fresh air?

Probably most people here would admit to times of loneliness; not just in times of bereavement or even because of the Covid-19. I believe one of the hardest challenges we face as we age are adapting to the losses in our lives and deciding how we intend to spend our days going forward. For sure, some days are easier than others. Thinking of you and hoping you'll continue to post.

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@wandajo44

I live in a very small town, cannot afford rent in bigger towns

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@wandajo44 Im 77 and live in a senior building . It is reasonable rent here . Have you looked into this? Our place here the residents have Bingo,, chair exercise,, movies ,, a library ,, gym,, computer room,, laundry on site so is the maintance . Our roof is abailable if you want to go up to it . Has 2 grills up there . Why dont you look into a senior building . The one I live in is for low income .

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@lioness

@wandajo44 Im 77 and live in a senior building . It is reasonable rent here . Have you looked into this? Our place here the residents have Bingo,, chair exercise,, movies ,, a library ,, gym,, computer room,, laundry on site so is the maintance . Our roof is abailable if you want to go up to it . Has 2 grills up there . Why dont you look into a senior building . The one I live in is for low income .

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@wandajo44.. Do you have a senior center close to you? Ours have all kinds of programs for senior, some are free. There's a walking group, and a Thursday morning coffee social where we get refreshments for $1.00. There are free movies too. That's a way to socialize make some friends. Check with your city to see what kind of resources they have for low income seniors. We are here for you if you want to chat. We are your online friends.

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@lioness

@wandajo44 Im 77 and live in a senior building . It is reasonable rent here . Have you looked into this? Our place here the residents have Bingo,, chair exercise,, movies ,, a library ,, gym,, computer room,, laundry on site so is the maintance . Our roof is abailable if you want to go up to it . Has 2 grills up there . Why dont you look into a senior building . The one I live in is for low income .

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In reply to @lilypaws "@wandajo44" + (show)

@wandaajo44 I agree with lioness. My computer does not work sometimes. The first message I sent (it was only part of my message) My mother-in-law lived in a low income housing and it was very nice. I don't know where you life, but you should have some around.

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@wandajo44

My parents are gone, had 3 brothers and they are all gone, family members live in another state, I am disable and 79 years old, can not travel and no money, panic attacks for years, after my husband passed 2 years ago .Doctor gave me xanex, but don't want to take pills if Ican help it.

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SO YOU ARE 755 AND DISABLED, LONELY AND DON'T WANT TO TAKE PILLS. MY QUESTION IS "DO YOU WANT TO LIVE? i AM 87 AND HAVE TWO KINDS OF LUNG CANCER AND MORE CANCER IS GROWING. PROBABLY MY TIME IS SHORT BUT i TAKE THE PILLS THE DOC ORDERS FOR ME.. MY HUSBAND PASSED TWO YEARS AGO ALSO AND I'M LONELY TOO, SO I TAKE THE PILLS. wAKE UP KIDDO AND SMELL THE ROSES AND TAKE THE PILLS DOC HAS ORDERED FOR YOU. nANCY SHORTSHOT

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@shortshot80

SO YOU ARE 755 AND DISABLED, LONELY AND DON'T WANT TO TAKE PILLS. MY QUESTION IS "DO YOU WANT TO LIVE? i AM 87 AND HAVE TWO KINDS OF LUNG CANCER AND MORE CANCER IS GROWING. PROBABLY MY TIME IS SHORT BUT i TAKE THE PILLS THE DOC ORDERS FOR ME.. MY HUSBAND PASSED TWO YEARS AGO ALSO AND I'M LONELY TOO, SO I TAKE THE PILLS. wAKE UP KIDDO AND SMELL THE ROSES AND TAKE THE PILLS DOC HAS ORDERED FOR YOU. nANCY SHORTSHOT

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@shortshot80 I am very sorry you have two kinds of Lung cancer and more is growing. What you said to @wandajo44 was done very well. I know there are some people that don't believe in taking medicines. My sister is one. She had a stoke and has many other health problems. The doctor told her she wasn't going to get any better. She has pain pills, but waits till her pain gets real bad to take one and then it's hard to continue the pain. I have told her that, but she does what she wants to do.
I feel for you. How hard it must be for you, but it sounds like you have excepted it. Bless your heart! My prayers are sent your way. Hang in there and wanda you need to take your pills too. I know it must be hard being so lonely. Both my sisters are a lone. My oldest sister who is 80 has the most problems. She has a lot of pain. My other sister was the one with the stroke and has pain.
Take care my dear, it must not be hard being disabled too.

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@shortshot80

SO YOU ARE 755 AND DISABLED, LONELY AND DON'T WANT TO TAKE PILLS. MY QUESTION IS "DO YOU WANT TO LIVE? i AM 87 AND HAVE TWO KINDS OF LUNG CANCER AND MORE CANCER IS GROWING. PROBABLY MY TIME IS SHORT BUT i TAKE THE PILLS THE DOC ORDERS FOR ME.. MY HUSBAND PASSED TWO YEARS AGO ALSO AND I'M LONELY TOO, SO I TAKE THE PILLS. wAKE UP KIDDO AND SMELL THE ROSES AND TAKE THE PILLS DOC HAS ORDERED FOR YOU. nANCY SHORTSHOT

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@shortshot80 I agree with her, take the pills. I suffer with depression and anxiety and take klonopin for my anti-anxiety and Lexapro and Lamictal for my depression. I take them every day or they will not work. I'm getting anxiety about my fusion surgery, but also happy. I have waited so long and continue to have more pain. I go to Mayo Clinic in Rochester MN. They are wonderful and my surgeon has 4 degrees and one as a Professor and another one Co-professor. He is well qualified and they tested me to see if the surgery will work and I came out positively it will work. I'm sorry you arre disabled. I think I wrote to you before.

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