Staying positive and maintaining mental health may be challenging during self-quarantine. For neuropathy patients, whether they have diabetic neuropathy, familial amyloid polyneuropathy, or chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy, it may be difficult to venture outdoors for exercise or running errands.
While staying indoors and at a distance from family and friends, neuropathy patients and their caregivers need to find ways to keep in contact while social distancing guidelines remain.
Following are some ways in which neuropathy patients can stay in contact with loved ones during self-quarantine.
Online platforms like Zoom, Google Hangouts, Skype, and others enable patients to stay in regular contact with friends, family, co-workers, and medical professionals. People can converse, share ideas, play games, and exchange encouragement with others. Patients also can meet online with medical professionals for check-ins.
Zoom has grown increasingly popular during the COVID-19 quarantine. It has seen unique usage such as virtual happy hours, DJ livestreaming, concerts, and even weddings. These unique uses can help patients not only stay in contact with others, but also keep occupied and build positive mental health.
While virtual weddings may be one of the more novel ways to use platforms like Zoom, patients may easily celebrate birthdays and anniversaries with friends and family by using this platform. Such events may also garner collective enthusiasm for planning a virtual hangout.
Virtual book clubs, games, and languages
Neuropathy patients can join an existing book club or start their own with a few close friends. Patients with more severe peripheral neuropathy symptoms may want to use audiobooks to assist them with their weekly readings.
According to a study by Idaho State University, book clubs may help participants decrease stress, push toward new goals, improve teamwork skills, and remain active in a community.
Board games are one way my extended family bonds. We spend most of our time after meals playing card games together, such as Uno, Skip-Bo, and Canasta. My mother-in-law uses gloves to help her maneuver pieces, and a cardholder keeps her cards upright to decrease the stress that holding the pieces may cause her fingers.
Patients can bond with friends and family with virtual game nights. One easy way to do this is with virtual card games. Patients and their loved ones may have poker nights or play Uno or board games via a virtual hangout platform. This may help them stay mentally sharp and socially bonded while opportunities to meet in person are sparse.
They also may use this time to study a new language and practice it with friends, family, or an interest group via Zoom or other platforms. Language learning is shown to offer benefits such as increasing brain volume, preventing dementia, increasing self-confidence, and improving memory.
According to the organization Mental Health America, maintaining contact with friends and family who are positive and supportive is important. While keeping in contact with such support groups, this may be a good time to share thoughts, cares, and anxieties with others. Patients may also use this time to listen to their loved ones and provide a means of mutual mental and emotional support.
While we wait for a light at the end of the tunnel regarding self-quarantine, maintaining mental health is only a phone call or virtual meeting away.
Note: FAP News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of FAP News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to familial amyloid polyneuropathy.
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