R U OK? Asking important questions this week and beyond
In early 2021, the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) nutrition team spoke with Tasmanian CHSP-funded services. We asked about the challenges they’d faced due to the pandemic. What we heard was that older people are more isolated than ever. Services are making sure that people are still connected with their communities. They have changed the way that they work, but the impacts of reduced social contact are significant.
Older people are at risk of losing social connections because of:
- health issues
- difficulty completing every day tasks
It’s very common to feel like you might be intruding by asking someone questions about how they are feeling. Remember, it is always better to check in with someone than ignore the feeling that something isn’t right.
If you notice any of the following, it is a good idea to check in:
- Changes in behaviour, such as mood swings
- Changes in the way someone speaks. For example, they might express more frustration or negativity than usual.
- Major life changes, like the loss of someone or something they love
R U OK? Day’s campaign Your Natter Matters shines a light on the issues faced by older people that can impact on their mental health. You can find resources on their website to help you start and continue the conversation.