Loneliness. Fear. Isolation. The pandemic has wreaked havoc on all of us in one way or another, but for older adults in particular, the seclusion needed to ensure safety from COVID-19 has had negative effects on physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. Hearts At Home In-Home Care, offering assistance for aging in place in Kansas City and the surrounding areas, shares the steps we’re able to take in order to reduce social isolation and loneliness in the elderly and retain the social connections that are so crucial to their health.
- Safe socialization. While we have become used to the phrase “social distancing,” it’s not the socialization itself we need to distance ourselves from, of course, but only the physical proximity to others. Remaining socially connected throughout the pandemic may not look the same as we would like without physical touch, but there are lots of ways an in-home caregiver can help encourage seniors to still be near to people they love. Whether a senior favors old-fashioned letter writing and phone calls, or is open to making use of social media or technology for virtual face-to-face conversations, we are able to help older adults stay in touch with others often.
- Making the most of time with trusted companions. For seniors who live alone, spending quality time with an in-home caregiver will help significantly with alleviating feelings of isolation. We make the time to play board games, have conversations, bake, do arts and crafts together, perhaps even take an online course together to learn a new language or another skill.
- Limiting exposure to the news. While it’s essential to stay up to date regarding the latest information about the pandemic as well as other news items of importance, an excessive amount of time spent watching or reading the news is likely to raise a senior’s stress and anxiety levels. Our caregivers encourage older adults to set practical goals associated with news intake: perhaps one half-hour news program in the morning, and another at dinnertime, and fill the remainder of the day with uplifting TV shows, reading materials, and other engaging activities.
- Practicing positivity. Thinking about each of the “what ifs” can be frightening. We help older adults shift their thinking to a much more positive mindset and internal dialogue through mindfulness, prayer, gratitude, guided meditation or yoga, or even through encouraging seniors to take time to connect with a particular family member or friend who has an approach of always looking on the bright side.
- Enjoying nature. Being outdoors in and of itself eliminates stress and anxiety; our caregivers safely help older adults enjoy walks and other forms of exercise for an added calming effect. We are also careful to strictly follow safety guidelines – staying apart from others, wearing a face covering, etc.
- Helping somebody else. There is no better elixir to feeling down than helping someone else up. Even when remaining at home, there are ways older adults can make a difference in the lives of others. Together, we can brainstorm ideas related to a senior’s particular interests and passions; for instance, writing and mailing cards of encouragement to nursing home residents, assembling care packages for the disabled or homeless veterans, making baby blankets for an area organization that assists single mothers, or baking homemade dog treats to send to the animal shelter.
Let Hearts at Home In-Home Care’s professional, compassionate caregivers assist the older adults you love overcome loneliness and isolation. We abide by all recommended procedures to safely care for older adults at home, and love bringing smiles to the faces of individuals we serve. Call us at 913-440-4209 to learn more about our trusted at home care for aging in place in Kansas City and throughout the nearby areas.