The coronavirus can be deadly, mainly if it’s a severe case. The elderly can be especially at risk. So, it’s not a surprise if you’re worried about the old folk in your community. Most elderly today are in self-isolation, and it’s not doing them any good.
Here are some simple but helpful ways you can still show you care for the elderly in your community. Social distancing may keep you apart, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do anything to help.
Because of isolation, the elderly can no longer go out. They have less physical activity as a result. This diminishes their thinking skills, which can speed up the process of memory loss.
According to the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), music has powerful mental benefits, especially for older adults. It boosts memory, enabling senior patients who have dementia to remember specific memories. It also stimulates the brain, allowing seniors to exercise their brain muscles through thinking skills. Most importantly, music helps treat mental problems caused by cognitive impairment.
AARP encourages the elderly to move, sing, or dance to music. These activities relieve stress and provide physical exercise. Convince seniors to listen to music they love, but teach them new songs, too. This helps the brain to engage and thus, encourages brain stimulation.
Another great brain-stimulating activity for seniors is playing a musical instrument. If you know seniors who used to play one, encourage them to do it again. Or let them learn one.
If some seniors have difficulty hearing because of age, consider getting them checked by a physician. Hearing loss can contribute to memory loss. Now, remember, engaging in and enjoying music promotes mental well-being and healthy aging.
The uncertainty COVID-19 creates is proving to be more difficult for the aging population. They don’t know when they’ll see their loved ones again in person. This can lead to cognitive changes, increased stress, worsening physical health, and depression. You can help by sending them snail mail. Though it may be out of fashion, for older adults, it’s not. They were used to it anyway, once upon a time.
Snail mail can come in the form of a card, a very long letter, or even care packages. In your card, tell the aging community that you’re always thinking of them, and even though you’re not there, you care for them a lot. Your care package can contain food or stuff that they love. A favorite snack, book, or piece of clothing from a trusted brand can all make older adults happy. Customize each package for each individual.
If you have children, let them create art projects that you can also send to the elderly. Gifts from children always bring delight to seniors. Have your entire family write a message along with the art project. This will surely give old folks reassurance that you’re all thinking of them.
If you can, and if it’s feasible, have and keep care at home. There’s nothing better than receiving care at the comfort of one’s home. Convince the elderly to get home care, especially those who are living alone. If your convincing powers are not enough, consider getting the help of professionals. Some care marketing services promote home care providers. They help connect providers with families that need home care.
Marketing services can give you a list of providers that you can choose from. Find one that is willing to coordinate care with other health providers and services. This means that if your grandparents have weekly appointments in the community hospital, your home care provider should be able to coordinate with them. The same thing goes for cleaning services or grocery delivery services that your grandparents avail.
But remember, include the elderly in decisions. If they’re not interested, encourage them to be involved. They are the ones who will receive care, so they should be the ones to call the shots.
Regular Neighbor Visits
COVID-19 is contagious. Older adults are at more risk. They should stay at home. If you have an elderly neighbor, do what you can to reach out to them. Call them and ask if they’re doing well. If they need anything, volunteer to go to the grocery for them. Make your calls and errands regularly.
Perhaps the most important thing you can do for seniors today is teach them how to be tech-savvy.
Take time to help them get better at using smartphones or computers. They’ll be more able to cope with the current pandemic just by learning how to use technology. Seniors will be able to connect virtually with their families through technology. They’ll be able to do activities with their friends through online communication tools. They’ll be able to watch and see entertainment through music and video websites.
But Limit Risk of Infection and Spreading the Virus
Whatever you do, though, avoid endangering the elderly’s health. The same goes for you. Maintain safe distancing and wear a mask always. Follow the restrictions provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) when engaging with seniors.