There has never been a better time to lend a hand, and there has never been a better time to direct that hand to an elderly population much more susceptible to a global pandemic that is showing no signs of ending any time soon. In addition to the physical dangers that the pandemic present, mental issues can also arise due to loneliness and fear.
Though physical contact must be kept at a minimum, especially if you are in regular contact with other people, there are still many ways you can help seniors in this difficult time. Here are a few ways to do so.
Though it normally requires a bit of learning curve, utilizing things like Zoom to keep in contact with family members who are forced to stay inside is a great way to up their morale… as well as your own! There are plenty of games that can be played at a distance, and with screen sharing capabilities (generally controlled by one party, which can be you) you can even watch movies or digital family videos “together” from afar.
If you are lucky enough to be able to continue self-quarantining, hand-delivering groceries to your elderly loved ones and community members is a great way to lend a hand. Even if you are in regular contact with people, however, you can help your elderly friends by ordering grocery delivery do their homes. Dr. Geralyn Frandsen, Assistant Director of the Online Nursing Program encourages seniors to utilize home-delivered meals. Frandsen says, “Maintaining a healthy diet will also protect from disease.”
If seniors do choose to go to the grocery store, Frandsen advises going during designated hours for senior patrons. Frandsen says, “This will provide interaction with other seniors and store staff. By going during senior hours, it will protect the senior from interaction with individuals who have a high risk for exposure.”
For those with healthcare needs, prescription delivery is a little difficult to navigate, so offering a hand there can be very helpful, too.
Even if it has to be through texts and phone calls, stay overly active with communication with your elderly friends and family. It’s important that they stay on regular schedules, but it can be easy to slip out of them when regular daytime activities are limited. Asking simple but important questions about healthy dieting and sleep schedules help them stay on track, and let them know you care, boosting mental health as well.
Utilizing either a phone call or Zoom, doing long-distance projects is a great way to feel together, even if you can’t be. Organizing photo albums online help spark old memories, and can lead to hours of conversation. Music is a great way to communicate, and services like Spotify make it very easy to share new music that your family members might like… or old music to spark some favorite memories.
Asking for help isn’t something that comes easy for a lot of people, so if you have elderly neighbors, do something nice and drop of a homemade dessert and a book. There’s no knowing if those people have family of their own, so some surprise, socially-distanced visits can really go a long way. If you’ve never really gotten to know them, there’s never been a better time. Leaving a phone number or email can lead to a new friendship that could last long after the pandemic is over!
Write a Letter
The simple act of opening a letter can take the older generations back to a time they viewed as much simpler, and certainly one without a coronavirus limiting how much they can do. Though technology is a great way to increase communication, it’s certainly not the only way. Stamps can be delivered, too!
There are many ways to help improve the lives of your elderly loved ones, so use these tips and use your imagination!
This content is sponsored by Andrew Deen.
Photo credit: iStockphoto