Helping your elderly relatives stay positive during lockdown
All of us are being affected on some level by the Covid-19 pandemic that the world is facing right now. Some of us have lost our jobs, some of us are facing serious mental health issues and some of course, have suffered through the virus itself. The most affected among us however, are the elderly. That’s why it’s important right now that elderly people stay inside as much as possible and there are some things you can do for helping your elderly relatives stay positive during lockdown.
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Helping your elderly relatives stay positive during lockdown: things you can do to help them out
The virus is more dangerous to people over the age of 65 than anybody else and the primary reason why there has been large scale lockdowns around the world in the last six months is to protect our older relatives.
The effect of it can vary from person to person, but for the most part if you are younger your symptoms will be mild or perhaps you’ll even be asymptomatic. This is of course not the case with the elderly.
It is important right now that elderly people stay inside as much as possible and that they keep their distance from anyone who is not a part of the same household, but it’s also important for all of us to take responsibility too.
We need to practice proper hygiene, we need to limit out interactions significantly and be sure to abide by social distancing when we do encounter someone else. In addition to doing all of that, it’s also our responsibility to take care of the elderly in other ways.
This is a very stressful time for them. Not only are they dealing with the stress of potentially getting the virus themselves, but with limited interaction comes loneliness and frustration and those things can be dangerous for the elderly in themselves.
We need to help our elderly relatives to keep all of this potential stress and anxiety at bay and to ensure that they stay positive as this lockdown continues. We don’t know how much longer we’ll be dealing with it so we should act now if we haven’t already. Here’s a few things you can do to help them out.
1. Help Them With Technology
There’s never a good time for a pandemic so to speak, but arguably right now is the best time in history for one to have happened because we are in an age of extremely advanced technology where we have access to a ton of information.
And there are a few ways in which this is going to be helpful for the elderly. Firstly, if they are able to find their way around the internet, they can keep on top of all of the up to date news in regards to what’s happening with the virus.
Information about any new precautions that should be taken or about any positive developments which can help to ease their mind. Even if a lot of the information they find isn’t encouraging, there is a level of comfort in feeling like you’re informed.
Technology can also help to keep them entertained and distracted. This is good for all of us in fact, not just the elderly, but younger generations know how to use the internet to their advantage in that regard.
The elderly probably won’t be much interested in social media and games, but they can definitely find things to watch and read online. Then of course, there is communication with their loved ones.
Zoom or Skype is unfamiliar ground to the elderly, but being able to talk to their children and grandchildren face to face will be very helpful. Try to guide your elderly loved ones on how to navigate this technology if it’s foreign to them. It will be a huge help. And with that in mind:
2. Keep in touch
Just because you can’t visit your relatives in person, doesn’t mean that you have to cut off all communication with them. This would be terrible for their mental health and as we discussed earlier, loneliness can be catastrophic for the elderly.
We also sometimes think differently about older people and their social lives. In the case of the rest of us, we are away from our jobs and our friend groups and we sort of don’t think about older people in those terms.
They’re not going into work every day and more than likely they are rarely venturing out to see friends. That doesn’t mean that they’re used to being alone, or used to isolation. They’ve had companionship their whole lives and now it’s been taken away.
Be stringent in your communication. Use Zoom and Skype as often as possible, but make sure you check in daily regardless. A quick text or a phone call just to make sure that they have everything that they need and that they’re getting some kind of interaction.
Depending on what restrictions your country is dealing with, you might be able to meet up under certain circumstances such as outdoors or maybe even briefly in their home, just make sure that you keep in touch on some level.
3. Limit your own interactions
It’s also worth considering that they won’t just be worried for themselves. They’ll be thinking about the possibility that the people they love could catch it too. Even though younger people are in less danger, there is still a certain amount of risk.
So as much for their sake as for your own, avoid social interactions and make sure that you can keep the virus at bay for yourself. There’s also the fact that if it comes into the family it could get to an older relative.
Even if you are not personally seeing them, you may be interacting with other family members who are and you might also be asymptomatic, so you could end up spreading it without even realizing it.
And just in general, you’re contributing to the spread by not being careful so it’s better for their peace of mind if you don’t do that.
4. Get as much help as you can
Because this is a global pandemic, everyone is in the same boat as you and so there are a lot of resources being made available to all of us. Services which will do things like take meals to elderly people or give them easy access to medical attention should they need it.
Be informed about this stuff because there are definitely people who want to help and also see what services you can get covered by health insurance too. If you’re in America, being over 65 entitles you to medicare so be sure your elderly relatives are taking full advantage of that.
This is a stressful time for all of us, but the elderly need special attention at a time like this so make sure you’re doing all you can for them.