During this time of the COVID-19 pandemic, keeping our senior parents and grandparents safe, healthy and happy is a main priority for us all. The evidence has shown that their age group is at the highest risk of getting the virus and possibly dying from it.
Non profit groups like the ACC Senior Services work to keep their residents and staff safe against this outbreak, going above and beyond the required testing and restrictions. The physical and financial stress for caregivers and patients makes it hard. One way to help is with a car donation for seniors through DonateACar.com.
Protecting seniors also can make them feel isolated. With all the masks, tests, and social distancing, older loved ones can feel a loss of connection with you and others. We’ve come up with some ways to care for your seniors and help boost their morale while also keeping everyone safe.
1. Get Them a Tablet or iPad
If they don’t already have one, get your loved one a tablet or iPad and show him or her how to use it. It may not be easy at first but it can be done. This can help them extend their life beyond their apartment or care center by having access to a zoom meeting or online lecture or concert. You can preload the device with apps they would enjoy such as a lecture portal, games or a book app.
Once they are familiar with using the device, show how he or she can use it to listen to audio books, watch videos, listen to concerts and even take online tours right from their room.
2. Consistent Phone Calls
Not only can you schedule phone calls with your loved one and other family members, but there are volunteers around the country that will call your senior. Click here to set up a request with AARP for a volunteer to call and chat with your loved one.
Even phone connections are still connections that make a difference. Hearing and speaking to a live voice talking to you can brighten up anyone’s day.
1. Send Letters, Cards and Packages
Sending things through the mail is a great way to connect to your loved one. A “thinking of you” card during a dreary week is like gold in a senior care center. Create care packages that include a small photo album or scrapbook, or create an online scrapbook if they know how to access it.
2. Help Them Write Letters
Encourage your loved one to write letters and help them if needed. Make it a mission to write letters to those in the military, like Support Our Troops. It feels good to help others and develop meaningful interaction.
3. Document Their Life Stories
This is a great time to sit down and write out the story of your elderly loved one. You can do this by recording them on a device sharing their stories, or talk to them over Zoom and record it. Then play the recordings and type them up.
You can help them organize their pictures and old photos. Scan them into the computer and digitize them. Their priceless pictures can be preserved and enjoyed by all their posterity. Have them record captions of what each picture of event was about. You can even make this into a family video that can be shared.
Caring for your senior involves not just keeping them healthy, but giving them more connections with others and a way to be involved.