8 Tips to Help Seniors Cope With the COVID-19 Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging for everyone, but seniors are especially affected. Among all demographics, seniors face a greater risk of long-term complications from COVID-19. This has left many seniors feeling isolated, as they try to protect themselves from the acute respiratory infections that come with the virus.
Certainly, enforced quarantines have taken their toll on the health of many seniors — both emotionally and physically. While staying at home may protect one from COVID-19, it's hardly an ideal social situation for seniors, who may feel "forgotten" by the younger generation.
The following are eight tips for keeping you and your loved ones safe at home while allowing for social interaction:
1. Plan Each Day
Whether you’re sheltering at home alone or with a spouse, try to include daily activities that you look forward to. Planning your day doesn't mean that you must fill every second of your day.
However, having a general structure to your day can help keep you motivated and happy. Waking up and going to bed at specific times is a great idea. Similarly, eating daily meals at the same time is a good idea, as well. These small habits can help add structure to your day and your life despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
2. Keep Yourself Busy
There are many things you can do within the safety of your own home to keep yourself occupied. Try new hobbies or pick up old pastimes that you enjoy such as:
Streaming new movies
Attending virtual (online) exercise classes
Playing virtual games on the computer
Video chatting with family or friends
Practicing knitting or sewing
Essentially, there are many things you can do to avoid boredom while sheltering-in-place.
3. Use Online Shopping & Home Delivery Services
If you are not comfortable going out in public, you can use home delivery services for just about anything these days. For example, you can get your groceries and medications delivered to your door. Using these services can help you get what you need while keeping you safe and healthy at home.
4. Plan Your Daily Meals
While sheltering at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, you have time to cook the different foods that you've always wanted to try. Cooking tasty, nutritious meals can contribute greatly to your physical and mental wellbeing.
So, plan interesting meals, and create something that you love. You may even find new favorite dishes. Some great recipes to try can be found here.
5. Try Telemedicine
Unless you have an urgent condition that necessitates an office visit, most doctors will happily arrange for you to attend appointments remotely. Then, you can receive the care you need without leaving the safety of your home.
6. Embrace Technology
Being apart doesn't have to lead to loneliness. Try keeping in touch with your family and friends via Skype or Zoom. Participating in virtual Bingo or card game nights can help keep you occupied and connected without putting you at risk.
Meanwhile, virtual exercise classes can help you get moving. Chatting with children, grandchildren, and friends also keeps you close to those you love.
7. Host Socially-Distanced Driveway or Yard Parties
Driveway parties can be held at a social distance. Gather a few friends over for a drink or tailgate party, and sit in a large circle around your driveway. If you don't have a driveway, a yard can work, too.
Getting personal pan pizzas or other foods that you don't have to share can help keep you safe. Bring Your Own Beverage (BYOB) rules can minimize the contact between you and your guests in the yard or driveway.
Also, wearing masks and keeping 6+ feet between chairs can help mitigate the spread of the virus. The great outdoors gives you plenty of room to keep your distance and still spend time with neighbors and friends.
8. Host Small Home Gatherings
If you know people who have been sheltering-at-home, consider hosting a local dinner party. Hosting six to eight of your closest friends for a meal can be a great way to spend your evening.
Many health officials recommend that you keep gatherings under 10 people. They maintain that small gatherings allow everyone to socialize safely. If everyone who is home gets together and has a "hangout," it can make social distancing less of a challenge.
These different socialization ideas may be contrary to what you know. However, it's important to protect yourself and your loved ones throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Remember, we are all in this together, and we will get through this! Stay safe, stay healthy, and be kind to others. This is a hard time for everyone.
For more information on staying safe while still getting the care you need during the COVID-19 pandemic, please feel free to contact us. We can address your concerns for the seniors in your life during these challenging times. At Senior Helpers, we are always here to provide you with care and support when you need it the most.