Combatting Loneliness: Staying Connected While Apart
As the coronavirus pandemic continues, many seniors have found themselves self-isolating for several weeks. Older adults, especially those with underlying health conditions, are at greater risk when it comes to the disease, so safe distancing and staying home are key for safety. However, with little contact from others, seniors can quickly find themselves feeling depressed and alone.
Now more than ever, it is important to stay connected with family and friends and try to keep a positive attitude. This too will pass, and everyone will find ways to adjust. Here are just a few ways that seniors can combat loneliness and keep in touch:
- Use video calling software: There are many video calling platforms such as Zoom, Skype, FaceTime, Google Duo, and WhatsApp where seniors can both see and talk to loved ones – from a safe distance. These platforms are easy to use and allow families to spend time together when they have to be apart. Set up a time each day or week to check in and talk.
- Call on the phone: If technology use is limited, go back to the traditional and call others on the telephone. You may not be able to see people, but you can still hear their voices and share thoughts and stories. A familiar voice can be comforting.
- Limit time watching the news: Check in with the news once or twice a day to see what is happening in the world, but don’t spend hours watching every story or reading every article. This can make you feel more isolated and fearful. Keep things simple, but stay informed.
- Stay busy: A great way to fight back against feelings of depression or loneliness is to keep your mind active. Distract yourself by reading books, doing puzzles, writing letters, watching a movie, or catching up on some spring cleaning. If the weather is nice and you can safely social distance, get outside for a walk and some fresh air. Focusing your energy on an activity that you enjoy gives your mind less time to ruminate on the negatives.
- Stick to a routine: As much as possible, follow your normal routine. This means getting up and showering and getting dressed, preparing meals, going for a walk, checking in with friends (via phone/text/email/video chat), doing the daily crossword, etc. Try to keep doing things you usually would, just adjusting them to align with current guidelines. This can make each day feel like it has more purpose and that you’re being productive.
- Sign up for Always In Touch: It can be comforting to have reassurance that you are not alone. Always In Touch, a complimentary service provided through Always Best Care, gives seniors the option of having daily check-in calls or weekly socialization calls to stay connected. You can speak with someone who will provide virtual companionship and a sense of security during these challenging times – and throughout the year. It’s fast and easy to enroll online.
Seniors don’t have to go through this global crisis alone; there are ways to stay connected and people who care about their well-being. In addition, Always Best Care continues to provide essential in-home care in Basking Ridge NJ for seniors by following best practices to ensure safe, high-quality care. To learn more about our services and schedule a free consultation, call us today.