Social distancing measures have been inconvenient for everyone. Everyone’s lives have been changed in these recent months. But no one’s life has probably changed more than that of your senior loved ones. The senior population is at the most risk for having a bad reaction to disease. As such, many are scared to even leave their home for simple things like a shopping trip. This has caused many to feel extreme loneliness. However, you can help them through this tough time. Consider the following suggestions.
Send a Care Package
Dropping off a care package on your loved one’s front porch is a great way for you to remind them that they haven’t been forgotten. Put in a few useful items like sanitation products that might be scarce in your area. It would also be helpful to give them a few flu and cold medications. You can also add a few treats that your senior is partial to. You may wish to add a coupon or gift card for a streaming service so that they can have some entertainment in their isolation.
Video Chat with Family
Seniors love it when you stop by to chat. The next best thing would be a video chat. There are so many different platforms that you can use. If your senior struggles with technology, you should probably pick one that is very intuitive to use. You may even need to talk to them on the phone to help them set it up. Once it is all good to go, gather the family and start the call. If your family isn’t accustomed to these types of chats it can be difficult to get a good conversation going at first. Do your best to have some topics prepared ahead of time that you can use to get the ball rolling. You can all chat at once, or you can even take turns talking with your senior loved one.
Send a Virtual Photo Slideshow
Even if they can’t be there, your senior loved ones enjoy knowing what’s going on in your and your children’s lives. Consider putting together a slideshow of everything that has been happening recently. If your family has enjoyed some fun quarantine activities, take some pictures, and include them. Add a soundtrack that fits with your slideshows theme. You can make it more personal by adding captions that address the viewer. This doesn’t have to be a one-time thing. You could make it a weekly tradition. Just document what goes on throughout the week in photos and then send them to your loved ones over the weekend. This will give the seniors in your family something to look forward to.
Adopt a Dog
Your senior family members need companionship more than you may know. One way to solve this could be by getting a dog. Before getting a dog you want to determine the right puppy breed that will be best for your elderly loved one and their capabilities and lifestyle. A large energetic dog could be very dangerous. If it jumps, it could knock a senior over. If it gets excited on a walk, it could drag a senior across the ground. It’s best to get a smaller, affectionate, and more docile dog breed. At the same time, a dog with a modest amount of energy can encourage a senior to go on walks and play fetch. This exercise will be very important for your senior family members.
Although you may not be interested in handwritten letters, the older generation is. They grew up reading and writing letters to those people that mattered most. Even if your family member lives nearby, they will enjoy getting a letter in the mail. It can be hard to write a handwritten letter if you’re not practiced at it. The best thing to start off with is a funny or exciting event that you are eager to share. Be sure to ask questions about how they are doing. Be honest and express your feelings about things that are important to you. Anything you would share in a heart to heart conversation, you can share in a personal letter.
Social Distance Dinner
If you want to be able to spend time with your loved ones in a safe manner, you could have a social distance dinner. To pull this off, have your senior loved ones prepare their own meal while you prepare yours. It might be more fun if you prepare the same meal. Then go to the backyard of your senior family member’s home. You can eat on the grass like a picnic, while the seniors eat on the back porch. Make sure that everyone stays a safe distance apart. This will allow you to see and interact with one another, while staying safe. Be sure that everyone involved is comfortable with this idea. Do not invite anyone that has been sick in the last two weeks.
Online Games and Learning
They say that it’s never too late to teach an old dog new tricks. While learning may be more difficult as we age, it doesn’t stop being rewarding. Introduce your senior loved ones to the many online learning resources available.
You can also introduce them to online games. Many of the classic games that your senior friends loved when they were children, are now available as games online. Teach them where they can find these games. Some sites may even allow you to play the games together.
Many seniors enjoy making things. Some enjoy knitting and sewing, while others enjoy art and carving. In your phone calls with your family, ask about the crafts that they enjoy doing the most. This will give them something to occupy their minds and pass the time. They will have the joy of accomplishing something and improving on a cherished skill. You might even take the opportunity to learn from them.
Your willingness to go out of your way to help others during a difficult time is a sign of your character and your love. You might find it difficult to start doing these things if you’ve never done them before. Don’t let that stop you. You’ll never regret the time that you spent showing love to your family.
We can help your senior loved ones to feel safe and cared for in the comfort of their own homes. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you with in-home healthcare!