As we are all doing our part to stay home in an effort to keep our families and communities safe, it is important we do not forget about the seniors in our lives. While state and local health officials are taking the steps to ensure that this vulnerable population are being protected, some measures can feel physically restrictive, especially with no known end in sight. Although these suggested procedures work to protect our seniors physically, they do not directly address the mental, emotional, and bodily toll these restrictions can have on a person.
It is important to remember that there are things that we can do to foster connection, hope, and purpose for our seniors during this time. Working with them to develop ideas for a plan on how to navigate this “new normal” can ensure that they maintain positive mental health.
This can include:
- Making sure their basic needs are met. Seniors are one of the groups of people most vulnerable to the effects of COVID 19, caregivers and loved ones who are considered lower risk can help by running essential errands, shopping for food, and picking up prescriptions. Seniors need to feel as if they are not a burden at this time, but understand that there are people who care and are happy to help them stay safe.
- Connecting with others whenever possible. The affordances of technology during this time are truly a redeeming feature to keeping people connected. Staying in touch with loved ones does not need to happen in an exclusively face-to-face atmosphere. Thanks to smartphones and computers, we can stay in touch with our seniors through video calls, emails, and text messages. Keeping connected with loved ones during a time when physical distance is encouraged is extremely important in keeping spirits high.
- Exercise! It is important to remember how essential it is to keep moving during this period of sheltering. Ensuring seniors’ range of motion and agility are still intact through simple stretches and exercise is a great way to keep them moving, and serves as an activity to break the day that could otherwise become very monotonous.
- Enjoy the things they love. Talk to your senior about what they enjoy, what they wish they had more time to do that they can seem to squeeze in during a normal day. Uncovering old favorites can lead to new memories, and for almost any hobby, there is a virtual version available.
- Maintain a healthy diet. It is easy to fall into to bad habits when your schedule gets shaken up unexpectedly, this can also happen with our diet as well. Eating healthy directly influences the way we feel. It is important our senior have healthy options for snacking available to them .
- It’s the perfect time for Spring cleaning! If you’re following the news you know the experts are recommending we disinfect more often to keep the coronavirus at bay. Now is a great time to consider a larger spring cleaning project that can be taken on one day at a time little by little. Seniors can make housework more fun – put on some music and get moving or look through old photos and reminisce with loved ones via FaceTime.
- Find joy in the little things. Senior can slow down and not move as fast as a day typical day with a schedule and plans would require. Enjoy the morning coffee, catch up with friends, learn a card trick. Meaningful moments and joyful days can be created even during a time when it can seem hard.
Elder Home Care is here to help! Are you finding that you are having difficulty discovering ways to keep your senior occupied during this time? Give us a call for suggestions or any questions regarding your home care needs.