With the spread of the coronavirus, many Older Adults are self-isolating for their own protection. The virus can be particularly severe for adults over 65 and for people with pre-existing conditions. Keeping our loved ones healthy at home has become a top priority for many. Unfortunately, staying cooped-up at home can negatively impact mental and physical health in various ways. The value of time spent with friends and family is immeasurable. It’s more important than ever for caregivers to help Senior Citizens feel connected and involved.
Social distancing does not mean social isolation. Regularly check in with phone calls, letters, and video chats. Teach Older Adults how to set up video calls on smartphones, laptops, or tablets. Encourage friends and family to call or send cards. Also, homebound adults can look beyond their usual group of friends. Simply saying hello to the mail carrier or chatting to a neighbor across the garden fence can create social connections.
With many houses of worship closed, older congregants may feel isolated from their faith community. Caregivers can help their loved ones access streamed religious services and online devotional groups. Find out about outreach services in your area and ask about virtual visits.
Work is an essential facet of personal fulfillment and human growth. People want to make a difference in the world. Just because someone is homebound does not mean they can’t participate in meaningful tasks. Brainstorm activities and hobbies that spark your Senior’s interests. Then, develop projects to work on at home. Decide together on consequential activities, not idle past-times. Make sure they have the right resources at home.
- Learn a new skill or language
- Plant a garden
- Write letters to other homebound adults
- Make blankets for the homeless or hats for newborns
Spending time outdoors can be as simple as sitting on a porch swing or walking around the block. Going outside offers an opportunity to interact with neighbors. As the summer gets hotter, morning is the best time for Seniors to go out before it gets too hot. Be sure to take precautions in regards to sun exposure and hydration.
Hire In-home Care
For some, staying at home without care is not safe. Families may look into hiring a Companion Aide or Certified Homemaker-Home Health Aide (CHHHA). In-home services help Seniors with activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, grooming, light housekeeping, and cooking. They also provide personal connections that help ease burden of loneliness and isolation.
At Anita’s Angels, Inc., we are Families Helping Families. Give us a call at 908-788-9390 to learn how our family can help yours.