There is no doubt that we are facing difficult and uncertain times. The spread of Covid-19 has caused several disruptions in regular socializing behavior and daily routines. We see it when we turn on the news, check social media, and even during casual conversations with co-workers and friends. Unfortunately, the senior community has been hit the hardest, as the group most susceptible to the virus.
Keeping Seniors Engaged
According to the AARP, senior living communities are taking strict precautions to protect their residents – limiting social interactions, restricting group sizes, and amping up cleaning and quarantine policies. Following suit, our AmeriCare in-home care professionals are amplifying their own virus protection and prevention processes. While these practices are incredibly important to maintain the physical health of our aging loved ones, it’s equally important to find new ways for seniors, in both living communities and those receiving in-home care, to feel connected and fulfilled.
Finding Ways to Improve Wellbeing
As we’ve discussed in earlier articles, physical activity and mental and social engagement play major roles in the mental health of seniors. As COVID precautions continue to restrict in-person interaction, it is crucial we find ways to keep seniors engaged and active.
Staying Physically Active
For more information on how to help seniors stay physically active in limited or indoor spaces, check out our article Beating the Heat: Seniors Can Stay Cool in the Summer with Indoor Activities. Many of the activities we review, like playing board games, learning new arts and crafts, cooking, and dancing traditionally take place in-person, however, many new online alternatives have popped up since the virus began. Consider setting up Zoom or Facetime on an internet-ready device with your loved one so you can share a game of chess, make art, or even share a meal together! Online video streaming services like YouTube, Vimeo, and Amazon Prime offer at-home, low-impact work out videos at little or no cost. Consider hopping on a Zoom call and trying out some new, easy cardio with your loved one to keep you both moving and to get those endorphins flowing!
Staying Socially Engaged
For more information on how to socially engage with seniors to improve mental health and wellbeing, take a moment to read our article Transform Your Health Through Social Engagement. Explore how emotions can affect the immune system and learn about the dangers of social isolation while troubleshooting ways to stay connected with your aging loved ones. Just like our earlier article, many of the engagement opportunities listed are in-person, however, new interactive online technology allows seniors to participate in these activities from the comfort of their own home. Consider helping the senior in your life volunteer for a support hotline, set up new communication options like email, chat, and video calls, and check in regularly.
More COVID-Friendly Activities
For more ideas on COVID-friendly activities, read AARP’s article 7 Ways to Boost Your Loved One’s Morale During the Coronavirus Epidemic. You’ll learn new ways to host book clubs, send old-fashioned letters, and how to order special deliveries of snacks, food, gifts, and more!
If you or a loved one is struggling with social isolation or physical limitations during COVID, reach out to your local AmeriCare. Our trained and caring staff make wonderful social companions, can aid in physical activity, and can help coordinate virtual social activities.