Ways to Help Isolated Older Adults During Coronavirus

April 2020

Now more than ever, keeping in touch with older adults and giving them social interaction is very important. We have to come up with creative ways to connect with them during a period when face-to-face encounters are discouraged.

In order to combat the sense of loneliness that might be present, here are a few ways to safely connect during this crisis with older family members, friends and neighbors.

  1. Give Social Support – We’ll start with an easy one of just simply staying in touch with your older adult neighbors. Technology has evolved to where you can send a text message, call them, email or use many of the video chat platforms (Zoom or Facetime) for great social interaction. If they are more old school, leave a thoughtful note on their door or on a container of food you bring over for them.
  2. Help Grocery Shopping – Since social distancing is what is requested, the elderly are not able to make routine trips to the grocery store for food and essentials. Besides, their trip may be for nothing due to empty shelves. Do their grocery shopping for them while you are out stocking your fridge or help set up grocery delivery services that are available through most stores like Rouses.
  3. Assist with Medications – While you’re coming back from the grocery store, make a quick stop at the pharmacy to pick up vital medications, which can also be set up for delivery at some locations. The pharmacy can pre-package medications to aid in those that have trouble taking medications. You can also set up reminders in your phone to call them when it’s time for their meds.
  4. Set Up Health Care Appointments – Although it is safe to stay away from offices for weekly or monthly check ups, you can still make your appointments by phone or video conference to avoid having to reschedule. If a visit is urgent and required, you can help out your older adult by calling ahead, reporting symptoms to the doctor and getting instructions for the next steps.
  5. Play with the Grandkids – With school being out, the grandchildren can turn into the teachers by helping an older adult learn something new with today’s technology, whether that’s a new game on the tablet or showing how to get to a new channel on the TV. You could send video messages from your kids or chat with them over video conferences. Now is the best time to record some family moments you will cherish forever.

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