Tips for carers during isolation
The COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic has changed the way we all live and interact. If you care for a parent or elderly friend, it’s likely you are unable to visit your loved one. This can make an already challenging situation even more stressful. While nothing beats a face-to-face to visit, there are lots of other ways you can stay connected with elderly family and friends and continue to support their health and wellbeing.
Check in regularly by phone
For an older person living alone, a phone call from a friend or family member daily or every couple of days can make a big difference. Set up a schedule with other family members to share ‘checking in’ so that the whole family can focus on quality time.
If you’re running out of things to say, try one of these ideas to keep the conversation flowing:
- recount a story about a grandchild
- tell the plot of movie, TV program or a book you’ve recently enjoyed
- tell a joke or reminisce a funny memory you share
- read a passage from a novel that might be meaningful for your loved one
Set up social media and video calls
If your loved one has a computer, smartphone or iPad, help them get set-up with technology such as Facebook, Skype or Zoom so you can connect via video calls and they can stay in touch with other friends and family.
While the set-up process might be tricky initially, once a system is up and running, your loved one will enjoy being able to see you on the other end of line.
If you need to help them set up new technology, it’s important to be patient until they become familiar with the system.
Play games online
If the person you care for is tech-savvy, there are lots of games that can be played online – either individually or in a group. Games like Word with Friends can also be played on a smartphone or iPad and may be a good option if there are grandchildren in the family.
Another alternative is to complete a newspaper crossword or quiz together during a phone or video call. Make this a regular weekend activity for the whole family!
Write a letter
An old-fashioned hand-written letter is good for the soul – and can keep both the writer and the receiver occupied for part of the day!
Make a no-contact special delivery
Drop-off a surprise care package, plant or bunch of flowers on the doorstep of your loved one. If your loved one is in another state and you can not reach out to them in person how about sending a care package via post, with hand written notes, photos of the grand children and special treats inside. They’ll be delighted by this small heart-warming gesture.
Celebrate special occasions
While we are limited to the number of visitors we can have in our home and can’t all physically be together to mark birthdays and anniversaries at the moment, there are other creative ways to celebrate the milestones from a safe distance.
Order a delivery meal for your loved one and set up a Zoom dinner party so you can all eat dinner and celebrate together. Involve several households so it feels like a party!
Send a video message to your loved one. Persuade younger family members who are good with technology to get creative with the message by filming and editing the footage.
Do a drive-by visit with balloons and posters for loved one. Make sure you tell them to be at their front door or window at your chosen time to see you drive past!
Ask for help
It’s okay to feel stressed and worried about your elderly loved one. KinCare is here to help. To ensure we can continue to support you and your loved, we have introduced new protocols and procedures to protect our Customers and staff.