Social distancing is the most effective, non-pharmaceutical means of preventing the transmission of COVID-19. Though some time has passed since social distancing methods have been employed, it’s still important for people to practice social distancing. This is especially important for the elderly population whose immune systems are more susceptible to the virus.
Social distancing can be hard. Avoiding non-essential use of public transport, gatherings in public places, and in-person meetings with family members and friends can take its toll on an individual. Elders practicing these guidelines can be particularly at risk for loneliness and depression. But social distancing doesn’t have to equate to social isolation.
Here are some ways that your loved one can remain engaged in their social lives and keep them emotionally fulfilled while ensuring their safety in their homes:
- Video chat. Help your loved one take advantage of today’s technology by utilizing video chat on their computer or phone to stay in touch with family and friends. Hearing loved one’s voices will help to combat feelings of social isolation.
- Write letters. Receiving a letter in the mail from a loved one will be a pleasant surprise. Let them know that you’re thinking of them and that they are dear to you.
- Virtual book and movie clubs. Choose a book or movie to read or watch, and then talk about it with your loved one over the phone or video chat. This can be a great escape from the news and a welcome distraction. Even more, put on a movie while you and your loved one are on a video chat so you can enjoy it at the same time!
- Engage in virtual group meetings, events, or classes. The use of technology has enabled people to access events or classes of interest right from your home. Whether it’s a virtual workout class, religious organization, or other community group, many have converted to a virtual format and are now hosting classes, events, and meetings. Better yet, take this as an opportunity to explore a class that you’ve always been interested in!
- Seek companionship through home care. While this may seem counter-intuitive to social distancing protocols, home care offers companionship for seniors who may be suffering from loneliness during this time. Happier at Home has consistent caregivers to be able to provide your loved one with companionship and mental stimulation.
Despite the social distancing protocols to ensure safety, your loved one can remain socially engaged with these tools and thus decrease risk of loneliness and feelings of isolation. Our Happier at Home caregivers will keep your loved one socially engaged with companionship and mental stimulation.