Americans and countries worldwide are waiting for the moment we share a collective sigh, step outside, and hug our friends in public. And while social distance is necessary to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus, medically vulnerable populations, like seniors, must take extra precautions.
To examine how COVID-19 changed social norms by interrupting daily activities that fostered positive mental and physical health among our senior populations, GoHealth commissioned a study on 1,000 Medicare beneficiaries to learn how they’re coping with isolation.
1 in 4
Feel a decline in their mental and/or physical health. A few of the top mental health symptoms reported were anxiety, depression, and irritability.
While nearly all individuals say they practice social distancing, half say they have initiated more social distancing compared to the beginning of the pandemic.
Say the pandemic has impacted how often they see family or friends, whether they live alone or with another person.
1 in 3
Medicare beneficiaries report they live alone.
Feel lonely. Of which, 92% are more lonely since the pandemic began.
Download GoHealth's 2020 report "The Effect of Isolation on Older Americans" for more information on how Medicare beneficiaries are being impacted by social disruption from the COVID-19 pandemic.
What Can You Do?
Everyone hopes to return to normal, but staying safe is the most important thing. Your Medicare plan may cover virtual preventive care or mental health visits. Also, exercise and diet play an important role in better physical and mental health.
In a stressful time, coping with anxiety and depression can be more challenging than usual. Mental health symptoms can occur at any stage of life, but support is available.
24/7 mental health resources:
Here are some organizations prepared to connect with you in-person or virtually. Most services are confidential, 100% free, and available 24/7 and year-round.
- SAMHSA’s National Helpline offers 24/7 support at 1-800-662-HELP (4357)
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline offers 24/7 support through an online chat called Lifeline Chat. You can also call 1-800-273-8255 or 1-800-799-4889 (TTY).
- The Crisis Text Line is a free resource available 24/7 to help you connect with a crisis counselor. Text “Home” to 741741
Additional mental health resources:
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
- National Council on Behavioral Health
Existing GoHealth members should connect with the customer care team at 1-877-694-3457. We can connect you to the right health-related programs, partners and offerings to help improve both physical and mental health.