One of the hardest things for seniors at this time – or anytime, really – is a lack of socialization. Adult children are busy with their own lives. Many of their friends have passed. Even in a retirement community or assisted living facility they may not be able to socialize during this crisis.
Since we are ALL sheltering in place, chances are we have some extra time that might be put to use brightening a senior’s day the old-fashioned way. Here are some ideas.
Call. Not the quick catch-up call, but a deeper conversation that gives them the opportunity to share feelings, reminisce and just well, “visit.” Consider prompting them with questions like “Do you remember a time like this in the past?” “What helped you through it?” “What do you miss most?” It’s a
great opportunity to learn more about your loved one.
Send cards. Seniors love handwritten cards and letters. Include a crossword puzzle, interesting (upbeat) article or story, or photos of the family.
Make a window visit. If you live nearby, consider making a window stop when you’re out shopping (or dropping off their groceries or medicine!). Call ahead to let them know when you’ll be there so they can be by the window to wave. It’s an opportunity to check (from a distance) their welfare, and they will be happy to see you in person.
If you have elderly neighbors, consider using these same techniques to cheer them up.
We need to contain the disease, but we can still spread kindness and connection.