At the time of writing, we are currently living in unique and worrying times.
Many of us are having to come up with self-care strategies to support our personal wellbeing during this time of quarantine and self-isolation. And while we can probably look after ourselves quite well, we do have to think of those senior family members who may be struggling to cope.
What can we do to help them?
Especially if they are living alone, they might be feeling very lonely right now.
Well, there are a number of things you can do, and chances are, you might be doing some of them already.
#1: CONTACT LOCAL CARE AND HEALTH SERVICES
If your senior loved one is already in receipt of an Elder Companion Care service and health support, there may be things in place already to support the needs of your family member. Still, it’s worth getting in touch with them, be it services such as Visiting Angels that we linked you to previously or your community medical facilities. Raise the important questions, such as those based around help with household tasks and medications, and if you discover no help is available, ask if help could be safely put in place. If not, it might be time to consider care home facilities for your senior, even if it’s only in the short term, or doing medicine runs yourself to provide for your family member.
#2: GIVE YOUR LOVED ONE A CALL
If your senior loved one is at home, it might be that isolation has hit them very hard if they are living alone. However, the sound of your voice will do much to cheer them up, so give them a call, ask as to their welfare, and give them a reassuring word on how you are managing to cope during this difficult time. Share stories, put your children on the phone to speak to them, and offer as much love and encouragement as you can. Of course, you aren’t only limited to a phone call, as if your family member has a smartphone, tablet device, or laptop of their own, you could also talk to them on Skype, Zoom, or FaceTime.
#3: DELIVER A CARE PACKAGE
Our seniors are being encouraged to stay indoors, so much of their shopping will have to be done online. Unfortunately, this hasn’t been easy for some, partly because some seniors don’t have the internet, and partly because there is a shortage of delivery times. So, support your senior by shopping for them. You could make the online orders they need, or you could collect food and household items from the local supermarket, and deliver them in person to your family members. Be sure to stay at a distance if you do, perhaps by leaving the food parcel on their doorstep.
#4: VISIT (AT A DISTANCE)
You shouldn’t get too close to your senior, but you can still stand on the other side of a fence to speak to them. You might take the opportunity when delivering food, or you could pop round to see them at other times if you’re able. Be safe and sensible if you do this, and take all of the necessary precautions. And while you’re there, you can enquire as to their welfare, and if you spot any signs that they might need extra help, you will have the incentive to contact the relevant professionals.
These are just a few ideas, so we hope they were useful to you. Thanks for reading, and please stay safe!