As our city reopens, local families are scrambling for help to care for their elderly loved ones who are isolated and home alone. Local in-home care companies are flooded with requests from families desperate for help to keep Mom and Dad healthy, engaged and connected. A recent study just released reveals 60% of older adults crave more communication with their kids and grandkids during this pandemic.
- An estimated 40,000 seniors have died from Covid-19 in nursing homes and families are moving loved ones out to live at home. But who will care for them at home?
- People working from home or headed back to the office often don’t have time or bandwidth to care for Mom and Dad while managing jobs and kids and maintaining their own mental and physical health.
- Many adult children live far from their elderly loved ones and need someone to check-in.
- Researchers call isolation among seniors a public health crisis equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes a day.
- That study reveals lonely elders are 50% more likely to die prematurely than those who are social.
How Families and Caregivers Can Safely Keep Seniors Engaged:
- Device Intervention – 1/3 of Americans over age 65 told Pew Research they’re not confident about technology. Help elderly parents feel connected with family and friends by hooking up devices for texts, Facetime or zoom chats. Write out directions in case they forget. Our caregivers often teach tech to help grandma set up Facetime, Zoom, email and texts.
Fresh Air Tour – Researchers report spending time outside boosts the immune system, lowers blood pressure and reduces stress. After a trip to the doctor or pharmacy, drive your elderly loved one to a park or lake to sit outside for a breath of fresh air while practicing social distancing. Our caregivers provide seniors transportation to doctors and often take the elderly for drives, even just to sit and watch the birds or eat lunch outside.
Virtual Story Hour – A study during the pandemic reveals 1 in 4 grandparents crave richer and deeper connections with their grandkids. Give grandpa and the grandkids each the same children’s book and have grandpa read the book via zoom or Facetime while kids follow along. Our caregivers can buy the books and set it all up.
Dinner or Lunch Date – A recent survey during the pandemic shows many seniors don’t take advantage of food or meal delivery and many don’t have access to smartphones. Order in a favorite meal and eat together. Families who don’t live close can have a delivery service drop off the meal while the family does a zoom call and eats together. Our caregivers help by delivering food, grocery shopping and making meals with your loved one.
Armchair Travel – Travel virtually with grandma to a different country, by simply watching You Tube videos. If together, dress up and make a meal or dessert from that country. Create a flag or listen to the native music. Caregivers can plan an Around the World Tour, virtually visiting a new country each week.
Boredom Booster – To keep seniors active, mail them good old-fashioned letters, or magazines, books, adult coloring books or even a puzzle made from a family picture. Companies custom-make these puzzles from your photos.
Minimizing Seniors’ Risk
While keeping seniors connected, the number one priority is their safety and well-being, especially in a pandemic and that should also be a family’s top concern. Caregivers should practice safety measures issued by the CDC, OSHA, and state and local health departments that include temperature checks, providing staff with personal protective equipment, instruction on frequent handwashing, social distancing when applicable and the sanitization of their homes. It’s critical when hiring a caregiver to ask tough questions about safety protocol.”