Staying connected with the elderly
During our current coronavirus global crisis, supporting the elderly in staying connected is more crucial than ever as loneliness and isolation can create their own set of risks for health. As social distancing restrictions have been updated, paying a visit to the seniors in your life is now an option.
Appropriate distancing is still recommended, avoiding hugs, kisses and touching where possible and aiming to maintain 1.5 metres between yourself and others. Keep in mind that aged care facilities may have strict protocols in place, so call ahead to check on the visitation requirements such as scheduling your visit in advance.
If you would prefer to be cautious due to health concerns and avoid visiting for now, you still can stay connected with older individuals in aged care in a variety of ways that don’t involve in person visits. Making the effort to support the elderly can have many benefits for their mental health and wellbeing during this time, especially for those who may be living alone.
Staying connected via phone
While texting, emails and image-based messaging services have replaced phone calls in many areas, for older people picking up the phone may be the simplest way to stay in touch for now. In most cases, the phone is manageable technology, inexpensive and there’s something really comforting about hearing the voice of someone who cares checking in.
Bring back letters
For the older individuals in our lives, letter writing was likely a usual activity at some stage in their lives. In the present circumstances, bringing this formerly essential communication style back to life could be perfect for staying in touch! With paper, pens, envelopes and some stamps, you can be pen pals in no time. Consider including drawings from grandchildren or a crossword to complete.
Delivering essentials for health and wellbeing
It may not be advisable to visit and spend time hanging out with the elderly currently, but we can still provide them with the essentials they need to thrive and be comfortable. Popping by with groceries, a good book or a new puzzle shows that you care and that the person is valued. You could even make a regular time each week or fortnight so there is a date for them to look forward to.
Taking advantage of technology
Video calls are simpler than ever so try guiding seniors to utilise FaceTime, Zoom, Skype or similar. If the elderly person/s in your life has technology skills as well as access via the internet and a laptop or smart device, you could even encourage virtual classes in an area of interest such as knitting or writing.
Whichever way you to choose to stay connected, any simple endeavour can provide significant support towards the wellbeing of elderly individuals who may be feeling lonely or disconnected.
While you support seniors, Selmar is here to support the aged care industry. If you have any questions or queries, please reach out to us.