The current quarantine to fight the COVID-19 pandemic has forced many Americans to reschedule their entire routines, with countless people working from home and attending to their kids while schools are closed. Unfortunately, adapting to this new reality is more difficult for some people than others, and senior citizens across the nation are facing some of the harshest lockdown requirements due to the extreme vulnerability of their age group to the COVID-19 virus.
If you have a senior loved one or are a caregiver to seniors, maintaining physical and mental health should be a top priority right now in light of this ongoing health crisis. While social distancing and sanitization procedures can help to slow the spread of the virus, many seniors across the nation are struggling with isolation. However, isolation is especially important for seniors over 65, who are nearly twice as likely to suffer fatal effects from COVID-19 than younger people.
Those who already had limited chances for social interaction may be even lonelier now that the COVID-19 pandemic has forced quarantine restrictions on most of the population. The following tips can help your senior patients and loved ones stay content and mentally sharp while they contend with social distancing restrictions to remain safe from the virus.
Maintain Social Connections With Technology
Modern technology has enabled millions of Americans to continue working remotely from home thanks to telecommunication and advanced software that allows people to easily stay in touch and collaborate on projects across great distances. These same technologies can also help your senior loved ones stay in touch with loved ones.
Now can be a great time to show your senior relative how to use video conferencing and video chat technology. If they do not have social media profiles configured, you can walk them through the process so they can spend time catching up with family and friends all over the world. This social interaction not only improves mood but also provides a “project” for them to stay busy, helping them stay alert and sharp while also fighting the symptoms of depression that are common with isolation.
Introduce Video Games
Video games have evolved dramatically over the past few decades. Your senior loved ones may not have given them any attention over recent years. Games now exist on all types of platforms, from high-end PCs and consoles to mobile devices and tablet PCs. There is such an incredible variety that your loved ones should be able to find at least a few that interest them. Video games are much more than ways to waste time. Some games have incredibly deep stories with beautifully composed musical scores and artwork while others focus on action, puzzles, and mystery.
If your senior loved one or friend has limited mobility, many modern games require minimal tactile control and some even allow for motion controls. While you may need to invest in more complicated setups, there are countless free and affordable games available on smartphones and tablets that can become great ways for your senior loved one to stay sharp and engaged while the quarantine continues.
Ramp Up Your Check-In Efforts
Many Americans have senior relatives in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. These establishments currently follow some of the strictest social distancing and quarantine restrictions in the country due to the high vulnerability of seniors amid the COVID-19 outbreak. If you cannot visit your senior relatives and friends in person, now is a good time to start checking in with them more frequently. Even a few minutes of chatting on the phone can significantly improve their mood. If you have extra free time yourself during lockdown, using some of that free time to check in on senior loved ones and friends is a great way to use it that can help them fight depression and loneliness during lockdown.
Rocky Mountain Assisted Living remains committed to providing the best possible senior care in the Highlands Ranch, CO area. If you have questions about the current CDC guidelines for nursing homes and assisted living facilities or want to learn more about current quarantine procedures for your loved ones in our care, contact us today.