The current situation can be particularly confusing and stressful for seniors. The general advice is to go outside as little as possible - go out only for the most necessary purchases or to see your doctor, always with a respirator put on. Visits of your relatives are currently allowed only in absolutely necessary cases (e.g. caring for your health, accompanying you to an official appointment etc.). Although it's not easy, try to keep in touch with your children, grandchildren and other relatives or friends, at least by phone. Try to ask someone from your area to pick up groceries, medicine at the pharmacy, or even to walk your dog.
Here are some basic tips on how to handle a pandemic:
- If you feel nervous, upset, or confused, that's fine. These feelings are a completely natural reaction to a new, unknown situation.
- Talk about your feelings - call your children, grandchildren, or friends.
- If you feel that your feelings are difficult to manage, contact one of the helplines, their trained staff will advise you on what to do in difficult situations. Crisis lines are also available for regular conversations. You can find a list of them below.
- Don't be afraid to ask for help if you need it. Seniors are one of the most vulnerable groups, so it is only natural that they need help. Trained volunteers can help with picking up groceries, medicine, or even walking your dog. Volunteers are provided by some municipal authorities.
- Do not underestimate the situation, but try to avoid panic. Limit the time you spend reading the newspaper and watching the news. You can do better for yourself if you read a book, solve a crossword puzzle, or watch your favorite movie.
- Try to follow a proper lifestyle - try to sleep enough, eat quality food, keep your mind busy by reading and other activities - ideas can be found in the brochure How to Survive Quarantine and Stay Active on Body and Spirit? You can find more ideas for activities in the brochure (in Czech) published by the Association of Clinical Psychologists of the Czech Republic
For general advice on how to maintain mental well-being, see Psychological Help.
Where to call for advice, specific help, or if you just want to talk to someone?
- Senior phone (Life 90): 800 157 157 (nonstop), FREE
- Senior line (Elpida): 800 200 007 (daily 8am-8pm), FREE, the line also provides assistance to seniors in cooperation with the Scouts
- Line for seniors (Senior with pleasure): (+420) 792 308 798 (nonstop)
- Green line (Anděl Strážný - "Guarding Angel"): 800 603 030 (nonstop), FREE
- Helpline for the elderly and those in need: 800 160 166, non-stop, FREE
- EDA helpline: 800 405 060 (Monday to Friday 9am-3pm, services focus on people in an acute personal crisis or people seriously affected by the current situation, helping people to manage their fears regarding their own health or that of their close persons)
- Sluchátko ("The Handset") helpline: (+420) 212 812 540, (more information and operating time: terapeutickalinka.cz), FREE, therapy helpline
Please note that free lines (beginning with 800) are available only using a Czech Republic-based landline telephone or SIM card.