The coronavirus pandemic continues to rage across the globe. The past several months of lockdowns and quarantine have been hard for everyone, especially our senior citizens.
Depression during this time is on the rise for our seniors, and it’s important that we remember to take time out of our busy lives to check in on them regularly to see how they are doing.
While many seniors live independently, there are also many that need assistance with day to day activities. If your loved one is not currently living in an assisted living facility, there are a few things you can still do for them, while maintaining health and safety protocols. It’s also vital that you stress to your elderly friends or family members how important it is that they adhere to these guidelines as well.
Some of the things you can do to help your elderly loved one during the covid19 outbreak include:
– Deliver groceries and other essentials
Many stores are now delivering groceries, medications, and other essentials for a small fee. This is a great way to maintain social distancing, but many seniors are not familiar with this practice and therefore are reluctant to use these services. If they won’t allow you to show them how to utilize online grocery or prescription orders, offer to deliver essential items to them yourself.
– Keep their minds active
Just because they are older does not mean that seniors need less mental stimulation. In fact, quite the opposite is true. As we age, our daily routine can become monotonous. Under current circumstances, many seniors are not able to maintain routines which includes things like book clubs, senior clubs at senior centers, bible study, or even visits with loved ones and neighbors. Now is the best time to encourage elderly adults to learn new ways of mentally engaging. Teach them how to use streaming services to watch engaging documentaries or watch religious services. You may be surprised at how many seniors have no idea how to buy or borrow books online. Bring them puzzles or supplies for new hobbies like painting, adult coloring, and yes, even knitting. You can teach them how to watch how-to videos online as well.
– Help them find new ways to communicate
The older we get, the more we seem to get set in our ways, and this is just as true when it comes to the way seniors communicate with others. Many still only use a landline to make phone calls, and are completely unfamiliar with smartphone technology. A great way to help them avoid unnecessary trips outside of their living environment, is with online video chatting. If they don’t own a tablet or smartphone, help them to purchase one. By showing them that they can still have face to face interaction, even if it is virtual, seniors are much more likely to maintain social distancing guidelines.
– Lend a helping hand
There are older adults that still live independently but still need some assistance with chores around the home. Your visits with them may be limited at the present time, but by observing proper health and safety protocols, you can still help them with these chores safely. Help with house cleaning and laundry as needed. Make sure that they are maintaining a clean and safe environment for themselves, as well as keeping up a good hygiene regime.
– Encourage them to stay active
This one may seem a little trickier, as seniors can’t get out to senior centers for physical activity like they were before. Walking outdoors can still be safely done. Just remind them to observe the 6ft social distancing rule and to wear a mask when exercising in a busy park or other outdoor space. One great tool you can teach your senior loved one to utilize are online streaming exercise classes. There’s an almost endless selection of classes to choose from, like yoga for seniors and the always popular tai chi for seniors.
Our seniors are important to us and a vital part of our society, so it’s important that we encourage and look out for them. We must keep them safe and protected during this trying time.
If you find yourself in a situation where you can no longer help your senior loved one in the physical ways you did before the pandemic, we are here to help.
Elderberry’s Assisted Living offers a warm and safe environment for those who, for whatever reason, should not live alone, but do not require skilled nursing care. Here, residents can live as independently as they wish, with the calm assurance that help is always available, should they require assistance with their activities of daily living. Residents may range from being very independent to being physically and/or memory challenged. If the need ever arises, our Skilled Nursing Services are just down the hall. There is no need to move to a different building and the experienced and helpful administration is the same regardless of the level of care! Our staff follows all CDC guidelines and health and safety protocols to keep our seniors healthy, safe and happy.