During the current coronavirus (COVID-19) global crisis, protecting the elderly has never been more important. It is imperative that we now take the time to look after and connect with older individuals within the community.
While COVID-19 can affect anyone, it has been found that our older generations and those with underlying health conditions are most at risk of serious illness as a result of the virus. Strict social distancing requirements mean that visiting may be unsafe or not possible at all. Thankfully, the Government have recently introduced the Community Visitors Scheme to provide funding to train people in supporting the elderly and helping them keep in touch with their loved ones.
There are many ways we can stay connected with older individuals, even when in-person visits are not appropriate. Making the effort in supporting the elderly can have many benefits for their mental health and wellbeing during this time, especially for those who may be living alone.
Pick up the phone
In 2020, making a phone call isn’t as common as it used to be. Texting, emails and image-based messaging services have replaced the humble phone call in many areas of our lives, especially socially. However, for older people picking up the phone may be the simplest way to stay in touch for now. In most cases, the phone is manageable technology and inexpensive. There is something really comforting about hearing the voice of someone who cares checking in.
Return to letter writing
For many of us, writing a letter is a thing of the past. But for the older individuals in our lives, letter writing was likely a usual activity at some stage in their lives. In the present circumstances, bringing this formerly essential communication style back to life could be perfect for staying in touch! With paper, pens, envelopes and some stamps, you can be pen pals in no time. Consider including drawings from grandchildren or a crossword to complete.
Deliver groceries, books and puzzles
It may not be advisable to visit and spend time with the elderly in-person, but we can still provide them with the essentials they need to thrive and be comfortable. Popping by with groceries, a good book or a new puzzle shows that you care and that the person is valued. You could even make a regular time each week or fortnight so there is a date for them to look forward to.
Tech savvy options
Video calls are simpler than ever so try guiding seniors to utilise FaceTime, Zoom, Skype or similar. If the elderly person/s in your life has internet access and a laptop or smart device, you could even encourage virtual classes in an area of interest such as knitting or writing.
Meaningful, helpful communication
Make the most of the time you take to check in. Take your communications even further toward supporting to the elderly by offering them suggestions to make life more manageable or even enjoyable. For example, mindfulness activities can be a great idea to suggest to support health and wellbeing of older individuals.
While you continue supporting the elderly, Selmar is here to support the aged care industry. Click here to get in touch with us.