COVID-19, commonly known as “coronavirus,” has brought unprecedented fear and uncertainty, especially among seniors. Keeping the elderly and other vulnerable populations safe through social distancing is absolutely crucial, but it’s also important to ensure they don’t drift into social isolation.
Seniors sometimes need a helping hand and often need to have people around them. It is tough for older adults who cherish the time spent with friends and family members to maintain social distancing, so reassure them that you are not going anywhere. Develop a plan that allows them to take part in activities they love, follow the self-isolation recommendations of health agencies, and maintain positive mental health.
This can include:
Scheduling virtual family visits – Facetime, Skype calls, or other virtual visits that you share can prove invaluable. Consider setting up scheduled days and times to connect so the visits don’t fall through the cracks, and so seniors have something to look forward to during the pandemic. Even a quick phone call a few times per week can help reduce feelings of social isolation for seniors who are sheltering in place.
It’s recommended to eat a variety of foods to get all the nutrients we need. A healthy meal should include lean protein, fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy. Remember to choose foods that are high in fiber and low in sodium or salt.
Running to the grocery store – Buy them daily essentials like milk, bread, eggs, vegetables, fruit, etc. Shopping for the elderly will not only protect them and reduce the potential for spreading the infection, but it will also help ease any anxiety they might be experiencing about running out of supplies or venturing out to the grocery store themselves.
Helping elderly stay connected, feel involved, purposeful, and less lonely – Show them how to video chat with others using smartphones, laptops, or tablets. Encourage them to telephone their friends and family and to write kind notes to lift everyone’s spirits.
Letter writing may be a neglected art these days, but it’s one of the most heartfelt ways to stay connected. Sometimes it’s easier to express ourselves and tell our loved ones what they mean to us on paper than over the phone or in person. A thoughtful card or letter is one source of reassurance we can give to our elderly loved ones that we are thinking of them.
Caregivers loved ones, and low-risk volunteers can help seniors to stay physically and mentally active during a period of isolation. Keeping up with a range of motion through daily stretching or yoga, walking, strength training, dancing, and gardening is a great way to keep moving.
Older adults who have limited mobility can stay active at home by participating in arts and crafts. Whether knitting, crocheting, painting, coloring, or working with clay, arts, and crafts can help older adults maintain their dexterity and cognitive skills.
The COVID-19 threat and the ongoing uncertainty surrounding it are difficult for everyone, but for the seniors, the likelihood of isolation can lead to depression, worsening physical health, increased stress, and cognitive changes.
For seniors needing a little extra help at home, 1+1 Cares can help by referring to professional, quality caregivers that meet your unique situation and care requirements.
It is our team’s priority to help maintain the health and well being of the seniors in the community. The caregivers can assist in providing seniors with transportation to and from the doctor’s appointments, grocery shopping, assistance with daily living, and more. Caregivers can also work to promote a healthy lifestyle by supporting physician-recommended diet and exercise plans, keeping them engaged with arts and crafts, and assisting them with setting up their electronic devices so they can continue to be socially connected with their loved ones and friends. To learn more, visit 1+1 Cares.
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