A significant part of elder care in these times of social distancing is to keep seniors connected to prevent isolation. Feelings of isolation and loneliness among seniors is a well-known problem and can cause mental health issues. Caregivers and family members helping seniors stay connected with loved ones is critical to protect them.
With the help of specific technologies and a little creativity, you can maintain your relationships with your elderly family, even when you must remain physically distant.
You have plenty of digital options to stay connected with your senior loved ones, the most obvious way being video chats. Video calls over social media such as Facebook, Skype, or other apps help you and your loved ones see and talk with each other while practicing social distancing. Virtual chats also provide convenient access for those who may live too far away from their loved ones to visit. Keep in mind that some seniors will be unfamiliar with these communication methods, so they may need a little help setting up. Providing captions can help those who are hard of hearing. Video chats allow seniors to feel like you are with them, and can help them maintain vital social connections.
In addition to communicating virtually, handwritten letters are another excellent way to keep seniors connected. Letters give you another avenue of communication, especially with seniors who have difficulties using technology such as smartphones or computers. Handwriting a message allows you to be creative and convey your feeling towards your loved ones. A handwritten letter offers a thrill upon receipt and gives seniors a physical gift that can provide a comforting emotional lift whenever they feel lonely. Letters may be old-fashioned but could be a very effective and thoughtful way to keep in touch with your elderly loved ones.
Keeping active, mentally and physically, is important for seniors, so try to create small projects or hobbies they can work on in between your visits. For example, go through old photos and share stories of your family and friends. You can each try to find pictures or share stories that are new to both you and your loved ones. Another idea is to watch movies or TV shows, especially ones that encourage interaction such as game shows. If your loved one is able to use technology, maybe you could even watch a favorite show together while on Facetime. Keeping seniors engaged is vital for their health, so think of ways to incorporate their interests.
For other senior care services, get in touch with Neighborly Home Care. We offer many elder care services to keep your senior loved ones healthy, including 24-hour home care, in-hospital care, and transportation services. Our staff is highly trained to ensure that your loved ones get the best care possible. And our home care services are personalized to fit our clients’ needs. For more information about our services or additional ways to keep seniors connected, contact us today.