How can you care for someone well when you aren’t supposed to be around them? This is an issue many people have faced over the last few months due to COVID-19. Older adults who are in the high-risk population are recommended by the CDC to practice as few interactions with others as possible. Senior living facilities that are home to up to hundreds of seniors have taken countless precautions to limit the risk of a resident contracting the virus as well, including prohibiting visitors from seeing their loved ones. So, how can you continue caring for seniors in 2020? Check out our list for ideas and advice on caring for seniors in 2020.
Caring for Seniors in 2020: Careful Considerations
Follow Senior Living Facility Guidelines
We understand that it is difficult to be apart from seniors that you love, especially when you are not allowed to go to their living facility for a visit. It may be hard knowing your senior could feel isolated because he or she has not gotten to spend time with others in months. While these are heartbreaking thoughts, one of the best ways to care for seniors in 2020 is to follow the guidelines set by their living facility. The temporary rules in place in these facilities are there to keep your loved one safe so you can visit them in the future, even though you can’t right now. Call the senior living facility where your loved one resides so you can be in the know if policies change, but understand that the facility is caring for seniors as best as possible through the policies they have in place.
Everyone has a different level of comfort during these times, especially seniors. While some seniors have decided that they feel safe going about some activities, many others do not. Many seniors are still taking every precaution possible, especially if they have an underlying health concern that adds to their risk on top of their age. Even though you might feel okay with spending time with family and friends, seniors may not be in the same boat.
Be sure to communicate about how you both feel about interactions with others, what activities you are participating in, and how you can make each other feel most comfortable. Caring for seniors in 2020 may not look the same as it did in the past. However, being respectful of their wishes is one way you can show that you care about their opinions and well-being, even if you have different personal views.
You may not be able to care for seniors in 2020 in the same ways as the past, but you can still help! Brainstorm creative ways you can show them love and appreciation without putting them at risk for COVID-19. If a senior you love lives on or can visit the ground floor of their living facility, try visiting them through a window. This way, you can be face to face while talking on the phone. If you have children, consider making posters to show your loved one from a distance. Consider a socially distanced get together if your senior lives in their own home. As long as correct safety precautions are followed, the risk of infection is low. Be creative! Caring for seniors in 2020 does not need to be extravagant to be meaningful. Simple things like phone calls, letters, home-cooked meals left on the doorstep, and care packages will say a lot. Just be sure you wash you was your hands and prepare things in a safe manner.
Something you can share with people without being face to face is hope. This is a great way to care for seniors in 2020. Hope is especially critical for seniors to hold onto during these times when they are under such strict precautions. It can be scary to feel hopeless that things will not go back to normal soon. Make sure your interactions with seniors are positive and encouraging. Use phone calls, text messages, and letters to help uplift the spirits of a senior you love. It doesn’t take long, but words of encouragement and hope can do more than you might think!
Give of Your Time
Caring for seniors in 2020 does not have to look like providing them with services that make life easier. It can look like being giving of your time. Many seniors have had little social interaction in almost six months and could feel alone. Ask seniors if you can spend time with them in a way that is safe. Spend time taking pictures of things a senior you love would enjoy. Write a list of reasons you appreciate a senior and send it to them. Call a senior on your way home from work. These acts don’t take long but are a great way of caring for seniors in 2020.
Caring for seniors in 2020 has provided more challenges, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still do it! Remember that it is important not to forget about the seniors in your life, even during the pandemic. Do you have any other ways you’ve cared for seniors in a safe way? Let us know so more people can practice them!