Siouxland retirees deal with challenges during the pandemic

Local News

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – The pandemic has been challenging for most. Some feeling more of the physical effects, others might be fighting loneliness. This is especially true for some retirees forced into isolation.

When it comes to retirement, some people look forward to retirement for a majority of their lives.

“Traveling, being with family, seeing family and enjoying the creation around us,” retiree Dr. David Chobar, said.

The pandemic, however, has forced many retirees to make other plans.

“I’m secluded here at home. We can’t go anywhere and we’re not paranoid about it but still we have to be cautious,” said Chobar.

Chobar said his wife was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. They decided this past year they’d enjoy every moment and every adventure just a little bit more.

“We’re celebrating, this year, our 55th wedding anniversary and we’re soulmates and so the COVID thing, it’s just, it’s like being in prison without bars. It’s like being in prison without bars,” Chobar said.

Because the Chobars are considered high-risk, David said they spend almost every minute isolated at home.

“It’s just a myriad of things that we were involved in, because now you’re not working full-time and so you end up being more busy than when you we’re working and all of those things have been shut down. All of them. It just feels like my right arm, I’m right handed, and my right arm is just gone. I’m not as participating in the world and in society,” Chobar said.

A Siouxland mental health counselor said feeling trapped especially during a time one has more freedom can be crippling.

“I think keeping a schedule or a routine is definitely important, even if it’s just at home because then that will give them some structure and something to look forward to. But, you know, continuing to stay active,” counselor Jennifer Jackson said.

Jackson said staying connected with others, whether it be by social media or a phone call, is key to getting through the anxiety and depression isolation can create.

For the Chobars, finding one thing to look forward to each day helps lift their spirits.

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