Ways You Can Help Your Elders Amid The Rising Covid Numbers!
As the days ever-shorten and the orange leaves give way to bare branches and morning frosts, it’s hard not to be reminded of last year’s trepidation in the face of winter. We don’t know what to expect, and with that uncertainty comes an anxiety that there will be a repeat of last year.
It may be that with the current rising Covid cases, many elderly you know are beginning to think about the need to shield again, or if not shielding, then to be more careful about going out. If any elderly relatives or friends of yours are becoming more nervous about socialising, then this blog is for you. ‘Isolating’ doesn’t have to mean emotional isolation. It’s important that, even if your elderly loved one(s) begin to withdraw, you know how to stay connected with them.
A lot of the elderly didn’t want to burden their friends and family last year, and so didn’t reach out when they could have. This winter, taking into account everything we learnt the last time around, we know how to better support those that can’t interact with society as they usually would.
The first thing to do is to check that your loved ones have the food, essentials and comforts that they need. Being alone can be alienating and confusing, and it’s very often the little things that make the biggest difference - do they have their favourite snacks? The right teabags? Their usual soap? Make sure that they’re able to adequately prepare their own meals.
Make sure that you have a regular pattern of communication with them, so that they still feel involved and connected. We all understand the power of technology; utilise it. Schedule in phone calls and FaceTimes. If your loved one doesn’t have a suitable device to do this, consider buying them a tablet, these are easy to use and you can get reliable cheap models. Ensuring access to emails and a messaging platform like WhatsApp suddenly makes the world feel a lot smaller, and they’ll feel less lonely.
It was noted last year how televisions become lifelines for many elderly people. Chat to your loved ones about their favourite shows - ask what they’re watching and know what they’re looking forward to seeing. If they have the outdoor space, encourage them to enjoy their gardens whilst the weather’s mild.
Perhaps your loved one doesn’t rely on much technology. Bring back the art of letter writing! Make a homemade card, send a postcard or post a small gift to show that you’re thinking of them. Everybody can appreciate the excitement of personal post; this will make their day, or maybe even their week!
Finally, if you’re worried about persistent loneliness and the effects on your loved one’s mental health, then there are several loneliness guides you can read online which will give you a greater understanding on how to help. Helplines worth sharing: Silver Line (0800 470 80 90) provides the caller with a cheerful chat, night or day, and Age UK gives practical information and advice (0800 169 65 65).
Whilst we continue to navigate these uncertain times, one thing’s for sure: showing love, patience and care never goes amiss.
For more details on how ILA can help with companionship and more please follow this link Household Support Services for Elderly in Surrey,Sussex,Kent (www.ila.life) or call 01892 210100 to discuss.