Keep the Connection
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced virtually everyone to adapt and adjust their daily lives, but those changes have impacted some groups of people more than others. Older adults in senior communities have had to forego visits from their adult children and grandchildren. During this time of uncertainty, it is important to stay connected in safe and responsible ways. Lisa Smith, director of social services and neighborhood engagement at ElderServe, and her colleagues are calling their clients to check on their well-being and encouraging them to stay at home and away from others. She offers a number of suggestions to help older adults who are isolated.
- Contact your neighborhood associations, which can put you in touch with older or homebound neighbors. A quick phone call can make a difference in someone’s day.
- If you are not in a high-risk group and know someone who works in healthcare who has older adults in their family, offer to pick up prescriptions and supplies. People employed in health care are stressed enough; taking some of the worry from their shoulders about their loved ones is immensely helpful.
- Your local church can be a good way to connect to older adults and find out if they need errands run or yard work done.
- Do something nice for a neighbor, such as bringing their mail up to their front porch, or taping a short note to their front door.
“We took our nephew to get some flowers, and he dropped them off to his grandma and great aunt. Just wanted to make them smile while they are staying away from others.” — Kate Stiglitz “I have been encouraging my mom to open her blinds and let the sunshine in and do daily exercises (walking video).” — Stephanie Richardson “My mom is in assisted living so we can’t go in, but I talk to her by text and FaceTime during the day. I pick up her shopping list, along with another lady’s list in the facility. I buy the items and return them to the front lobby. My brother and I stand outside her window and talk to her by phone. We fill four bird feeders so she can watch the birds.” — Phyllis Moss “If the rain ever stops, we’re going to go over and play some badminton in the green space outside (mom’s) window.” — Elaine JackP.S. Easy meal options for your loved ones.