Social distancing has become a new normal for the foreseeable future, especially for seniors. Pre-COVID-19, 43 percent of seniors said they feel lonely on a regular basis. In light of current events, that number can only skyrocket, leading to widespread health issues for older adults like depression and heart disease.*
For seniors, especially those living alone, social connection has never been more important.
As we settle into a new normal of social distancing and limited events, we’re left wondering how to continue to support senior loved ones while keeping them as safe as possible.
It’s a topic Cameo Rogers, Immanuel’s life enrichment manager, explored on Thriving at Home for Seniors, a video series helping seniors and their families cope during social distancing. Cameo gives four tips for staying connected to senior loved ones.
- Check in...often. Regular, even daily phone calls will help you stay connected with your loved one’s health and well-being while providing invaluable social connection. Create a schedule to call. Add it to your calendar and divide up the calls with other family members. Be sure to check in on any symptoms, emotional wellness and any supplies they may need.
- Virtually visit. Window visits offer safe, face-to-face connection. Remember to use phones to better hear each other through the window.
- Share an activity. Arrange to watch a show, movie or read a book, then set up a time to talk about it. Try an online course and virtually learn something new together.
- Send a care package. Mail or drop off much needed supplies but also much needed entertainment like books, magazines, puzzles. Don’t forget supportive cards or drawings from the kids.
Be sure to listen to the whole episode at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SveIGM9LncA
And if you’re worried your loved one is experiencing loneliness, take our free assessment at https://www.immanuel.com/lonelinessassessment