COVID-19 is quickly spreading across the US and around the world. According to the World Health Organization, older people and those with serious underlying medical conditions are more susceptible to the virus.
In the US, senior citizens usually live on their own, with their partners, or in retirement or nursing homes. In most cases, they are secluded. Though necessary, some may find this isolation discouraging, especially if community quarantine is implemented.
Here are simple ways you can help the elderly and make them feel they are not alone.
Talk to them
If you know a senior living on their own or if you know nursing or retirement homes that will allow, consider doing a regular call session with them. You can even teach them how to operate online tools, such as Facetime, Skype, or Zoom. This way, they too can call their loved ones whenever they want to.
Contact your local food bank
If you have time and if allowed, you can call your local food bank and check if they need help in securing supplies or delivering items. Even donating any amount would be a big help.
Send a message
You can encourage friends and family to write, draw art, or send e-cards and messages to the elderly. This can help in uplifting their spirits.
Find a buddy
If trying to reach out to everyone seems to be a huge task for you, you can identify one ‘buddy’ to connect with. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) even encouraged creating a buddy system. It is to make sure people, especially those with a higher risk of getting the virus living alone, have someone they can talk to and update about their condition.
If you know a senior living alone around your neighborhood, regularly check upon them. Ask if they need help in doing grocery shopping or getting some tasks done. Since they have a higher risk of getting the virus, they need to stay at home as much as possible. Make sure to use proper protective equipment when talking to them. That is to keep you and them safe.
In case they need to do the shopping on their own, let them know that selected grocery stores are setting aside goods for the elderly and people with compromised immune systems.
Here’s the list you can refer to.
Bond with them
If your elderly parents or grandparents are staying with you, you can make them feel less alone with simple activities like organizing old photos together. Allow them to share stories and memories as you go through each picture.
If living with an elderly, as much as possible, stay inside your homes. If there are no urgent and important things to do outside, there’s no need to get out. You should also do your best not to go out often. It is to avoid potentially bringing the virus inside your home.
If you or your loved one is experiencing a symptom, let your family doctor or care facility know.
In these challenging times, the least we can do is offer our care and love to the people around us. It’s a tough time, but together, we can make these huge challenges feel lighter. Let’s help one another.
If you have a loved one requiring remote patient monitoring, we can help. Our team of healthcare professionals specializes in transitional care management. We engage, monitor, and update patients and their families about their health conditions. Contact us today!