We are certainly living in strange times with the situation being uniquely different for each of us. We have never experienced the cancellation of so much of regular engagements with our family and friends. The days of quarantine have affected us all but none more than our seniors whom we shelter from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The experiences seniors have endured are varied but we hear about feelings of boredom and loneliness.
“What am I to do with myself?”
“I can’t see my family. Talking on the phone is not like seeing them in person.”
“I don’t like living like this.”
Although AgeWise has lost direct contact with some of our clients due to the CDC guidelines for senior communities, we believe that connection is more important than ever!
According to the National Institute on Aging, “social isolation and loneliness in older people poses health risks. We are social creatures and connection to others enables us to survive and thrive.”
Creative thinking is needed! We must use it to our advantage! Consider these “connection” projects/activities:
- Organize and schedule regular phone calls from family members and friends – make sure to have upbeat, meaningful topics to engage your senior – recall fond memories, relay “good news” stories from the community or inform them of upcoming interesting TV shows to watch. If equipped, use FaceTime or Zoom calls to personalize the contact.
- Send or drop off reading materials and music – books, magazines, audio books, CDs. Alexa/Siri voice activated technology for music/books may be an option.
- Write letters, send cards – ask friends and family to write letters or send cards (they can be handmade!). If your loved one(s) have a special day coming up, think about organizing a “Card Party” for them.
- Drop off or have delivered a special snack, dessert or favorite meal (comfort food and home cooking – what a delight!!!)
- Visit the resident’s window, with permission, and do an activity together – stretching, yoga, art project, reading a book, playing cards (dealer can run the show)…
Our hope is that through creative connection, we will add a little bit of “umph” to our loved one’s day.
As long as there is life there is happiness. There is a great deal, a great deal still to come. – Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace