Can you believe that we are almost one year into the COVID-19 pandemic? With the rollout of a vaccine promising a return to normalcy at some point in the hopefully not so distant future, our high-risk friends and family members will likely remain in a COVID-lockdown until their risk of exposure is substantially minimized or, ideally, eliminated. Now, more than ever, it can be important to remember our senior loved ones and help them avoid isolation. Let us take a look at five ways to do so:
1. Frequent check-ins. Let your loved one know you are thinking of him or her. It can be as simple as a text message every day or two just to check in and say hello.
2. Send cards and pictures. Since your senior loved one probably is not able to visit with family and friends as much as he or she would like to, whether it is because of isolation due to COVID or simply because of not living nearby, you can brighten your loved one’s day with a thoughtful card or memorable photo
3. Schedule time to connect. Even absent the pandemic, we all can feel too caught up in our own busy lives and we forget to connect with those who need it the most. Try to schedule a weekly or bi-weekly socially-distant visit or Facetime call with your senior loved one. This may not only allow you to keep in better touch, but it will also give your loved one something to look forward to and keep him or her engaged.
4. Get them moving. Keeping healthy can be a great way for your senior loved one to maintain mental health and avoid sinking into isolation. Invite your loved one to go on a COVID-safe walk outside or encourage daily yoga and stretches.
5. Be creative. Think outside the box when coming up with ways to keep your loved one from feeling lonely. For example, maybe your senior loved one is an animal-lover and would benefit from the companionship that comes with adopting a pet. Perhaps your loved one loves to cook or play cards and you can arrange for a virtual activity based on those interests.
Remember, while these tips can certainly help your loved one avoid isolation during COVID, continuing to implement them even after the end of the pandemic will ensure your senior loved one continues to feel connected and involved. For more tips on assisting an elder loved one in your life, please reach out to our office to schedule an appointment.