Social distancing but not social isolation for seniors
To prevent the spread of the pandemic COVID19 social distancing has proved to be quite useful. Hence, people have confined themselves to their homes to stay safe. The elderly documented to be more vulnerable to the virus, especially the ones who have some prior disease. With age, the immune system weakens, and there are fewer chances to recover from COVID19. So to delay the spread of the virus, social distancing has become essential to save yourself and your loved ones from this pandemic.
We should practice social distancing, but we should not socially isolate ourselves from our loved ones. Social distancing is not the same as social isolation. Social distancing is to stay at your own home, do not have people over at your place, or go out to cafes, restaurants, or crowded parks. However, this can affect us all mentally as, by nature, humans love to interact with their fellow beings and share moments of their lives. Especially the elderly in this situation can feel cut off from their children and grandchildren. To avoid social isolation, we should help them to learn technology and interact with their loved ones. There are various communities, which have groups over social media where they can interact with their age fellows.
How to avoid social isolation
Social distancing is to distance oneself from others physically. Take all the measures necessary to prevent the spread of COVID19, keeping a distance of at least 6 feet, avoid all the crowded and public places. But we can still connect and interact with our loved ones and friends through FaceTime, Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, Zoom, and many such mediums, and seniors can use video chat and share moments. It would take some time and effort to learn how to use the technology, but it would be worth it.
For the elderly, social isolation can result in loneliness and depression; having no one around to share their feelings and thoughts could trigger all the negative vibes. We can still stay away from one another and perform interactive activities together to feel connected.
Activities to interact with seniors
Seniors can involve with each other and take their minds off the situation in which we all are trapped in various activities. They can have meals and teatime together with their loved ones and talk with each other through a video call. Watching similar movies or reading the same books, and having discussions over them can help interact with your elders. You can have similar yoga or exercise classes, watch or read classics, and have a discussion over tea on a video call. Having a healthy conversation with your loved ones can avoid isolation and hence mental disorder or depression. Once the elderly learn to use technology, they can have virtual tours to different museums and beautiful places. Read e-books and watch movies of their time.
Home health care services provide caregivers who are specialized in providing help in day-to-day activities, grocery shopping, cleaning, and having a pleasant conversation with the seniors to avoid self-isolation.