Keeping the conversation positive during coronavirus outbreak
The coronavirus outbreak is rapidly evolving each day. To help slow the spread of the virus, major cities are starting to shut down schools, bars, restaurants, and other nonessential businesses. Companies are allowing those who can work remotely to do so. And everyone is strongly encouraged to practice what is called “social distancing.”
But these days are especially challenging for seniors. Those over the age of 60 are more vulnerable to coronavirus, and to stay protected, it’s best for seniors to self-isolate. While the isolation is good for preventing the spread of the coronavirus among seniors, it can have a negative impact on one’s mental health.
If you have a loved one over the age of 60 who is currently self-isolating, and you want to help lift spirits, consider how you can reframe conversations on the phone or on Skype. It’s easy to focus on the negatives right now. You can help the conversation stay positive by taking your loved one’s mind off of the virus, even if just for a moment.
StoryCorps, an organization that uses stories to build connections between people, has a list of questions on their website you can ask anyone to encourage meaningful conversation. Consider asking some of these questions to help focus the conversation on something more positive, and to help boost the mood of a loved one:
- What are the most important lessons you’ve learned in life?
- What is your favorite memory of me?
- What are you proudest of?
- How has your life been different than what you’d imagined?
- Who has been the biggest influence on your life? What lessons did that person teach you?
Not only are these questions helpful in steering the conversation away from the coronavirus, but it also provides a chance to strengthen your connection during these difficult times. For more question ideas, visit Story Corps today.