The coronavirus pandemic has everyone feeling more anxious, concerned, overwhelmed, and scared. It’s no wonder why - not only is this an unprecedented time, but it is also a time when turning on the television can be a scary thing. Sad statistics and changing information are enough to make anyone feel worried, including the clients you serve.
How Clients May Be Feeling
The clients you serve are feeling like the rest of us - worried and overwhelmed. However, they could also be feeling even more scared because they are in an age group that is at a higher risk of serious complications from the coronavirus. Can you imagine feeling scared most of the day for the past month? Your clients could be feeling this way.
In addition to feeling scared, your clients could be feeling lonely and sad. Due to social distancing guidelines, their family members, neighbors, and friends may not be stopping by for regular visits. This can make for an especially lonely and isolated day.
Finally, your clients may be feeling confused. There are so many pieces of information about coronavirus out in the world, from television reports to online articles to word-of-mouth information passed from one person to the next, it is easy to hear contradicting bits of information. Your clients, already feeling worried, are now hearing information from unreliable sources. It’s not good for their mental or physical health.
Fortunately, you have the chance to ease the worries of your clients while you are in their homes serving them. Here are some easy ways to create a feeling of peace and calm while you are with them:
- Turn off the television when possible
- Listen to favorite music as the “background” of your days together
- Find a silly and appropriate joke to share with your client daily
- Create a special tradition for the two of you to enjoy together during this time, like coffee on the porch, a sweet treat in the afternoon, or a daily dance party
- Ask your client how they are feeling about everything, and really listen to what they are saying (and aren’t saying)
- Pay attention to body language signs of distress, like wringing their hands or excessive pacing
- Remind your client that they are safe and cared for
- Let your client talk about the coronavirus; talking about feelings can sometimes make people feel better
- Gently correct clients if they are talking about information that is incorrect
- Redirect conversations away from coronavirus talk if it is becoming upsetting or unproductive
- Report any changes in mood or behavior to your agency immediately
Adding small bright spots throughout the day, along with creating new traditions to enjoy with your client, will help you both feel better during your time together. We know you are doing your very best to serve your clients and keep them feeling emotionally strong.
Keep up the good work!