In these uncertain times, seniors must do their best to maintain their connections while social distancing to protect their health. It doesn’t mean they can’t stay social, though!
If you’re a senior or a loved one concerned about a friend or family member’s well-being, here are five ways they can maintain necessary personal connections during our COVID-19 outbreak.
While we have certain limitations for stores and events, most places do not restrict outdoor exercise. When the weather is lovely, a walk around the neighbourhood with friends, family, or a caregiver can be an excellent way to feel invigorated and social.
This gentle exercise can provide sufficient fitness in a way that boosts the mood, reduces restlessness, and improves health and wellness outcomes. For instance, regular walks increase blood flow, reduce inflammation, and strengthen antibodies, all of which help the immune cells perform more effectively.
Try new modes of contact
Technology can be intimidating for some, but it has never been more user-friendly! An iPad or smartphone can be a great way to connect with younger family members, who can also help set it up for them.
Local libraries and social organizations host many kinds of virtual social activities for seniors, including book clubs, game nights, and general hang-outs. FaceTime, Zoom, and Skype are great ways to continue traditions like storytime! You can read a favourite book to grandchildren or those of a loved one through the screen.
You don’t need complicated technology to stay connected, though! Reaching out to someone on the phone and hearing a receptive voice is better than being alone and more user-friendly. Older adults should feel empowered to call their younger family members, as everyone wants more connections right now. Take the opportunity to phone even those you don’t typically speak with for a chat!
Caregivers can be a lifeline for seniors feeling isolated. Family and friends may not always be available, but when a caregiver comes over at a set time to provide safe, pandemic-friendly socialization. Whether the caregiver is coming over to talk, play games, go out for a walk, or provide necessary personal care services, they can keep seniors social, active, and mentally sharp.
Limit social media
It sounds paradoxical, but it’s true: social media can isolate us more than we think, regardless of age. It replaces meaningful interactions with small acts that trick us into feeling connected. Seniors should be wary of how much social media they’re consuming every day. While it is tempting to leave screens turned on all day, the constant barrage of information can be overwhelming.
The same goes for bad news on television – it can be addictive but isolating. If you or a loved one enjoy keeping the TV on during the day, find channels that make you feel better rather than worse. For example, many cooking and classic movie channels have positive programming that also engages the mind. Replacing television with music, audiobooks, or books can also reduce stress when trying to relax.
Contact Vera Home Care today!