Helpful Tips for Battling Senior Isolation and Loneliness amid the COVID-19 Pandemic
As the numbers of those infected with COVID-19 grow, the dangers rise for America’s vulnerable populations. The elderly are at risk for the most severe consequences, so it’s essential to make every effort to minimize the exposure to this deadly disease.
Social distancing, while it’s the best tool in our arsenal in the coronavirus fight, goes against what’s generally advocated for seniors. Poor health outcomes are associated with social isolation in this population, so what’s the best way to balance these competing recommendations? Fortunately, there exists a number of ways that older adults can combat sensations of loneliness and isolation during social distancing. If you’re confined at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, read on for seven strategies to help you feel less lonely and more connected.
Stay active in the community. How can you remain a part of the community if the goal is to be physically separated from everyone right now? Do it remotely. Many organizations, such as faith-based groups, nonprofits, and political parties to name a few, rely on volunteers to make phone calls on their behalf. Get involved in a cause that’s near and dear to your heart from the convenience of home.
Take a break from the news. It’s important to stay informed about the COVID-19 outbreak, but there’s no need to continuously watch the news and bring on unnecessary anxiety. You may find it helpful to get an update each morning and evening, and keep your news-watching it to less than an hour per day.
Virtually connect to the arts and nature. Many organizations, musicians, and artists have come forward to stream their performances online. Countless famous museums around the world, including The Louvre and the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, are offering free virtual tours. You can even take in the splendor of many of America’s national parks from the comfort of your couch.
Stay active. We sometimes forget that our physical and mental health is intertwined. Spending weeks in isolation without exercise will have a detrimental effect on your ability to cope mentally. Take up a safe, low-impact activity that you can do at home, such as Tai Chi or yoga, by following YouTube videos. Take a walk around the neighborhood or on a treadmill if you have one and are concerned about going outside.
Attend virtual a religious service. Many churches, synagogues, and temples are streaming their religious services. If you are a member of a specific house of worship, check to see if they’re live streaming their religious services or are offering recorded sermons. If watching online isn’t an option, many radio and TV stations also air religious services.
Learn something new. While this is certainly an unprecedented period, it can still be a time for growth and learning. If you haven’t discovered TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) Talks, check out their vastly diverse archives of free lectures from industry-leading professionals, activists, entertainers and educators. Or, why not expand your foreign language skills? Rosetta Stone and Babbel course hubs are currently offering up to three months of free classes in dozens of languages.
Stay connected. Make regular phone calls to your relatives, friends and neighbors. It may just be a short call to say hi and see how they’re doing, but keeping in touch helps banish those feelings of isolation. If you have a smart phone and can video call apps like Facetime or Skype, that’s all the better!
Social distancing does not have to mean social isolation. Now more than ever, it’s important to find smart ways to stay connected. The caring professionals at Batchelor Brothers Funeral Services remain here for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Please feel free to contact us anytime.
About Batchelor Brothers Funeral Services: As a leading African American-owned and operated funeral and cremation organization serving three states, Batchelor Brothers Funeral Services has provided a ministry of care to thousands of grieving families. We promise to provide our highest level of distinguished service and respect to families who entrust us to honor their loved one. In all aspects of the funeral process, we strive to be the absolute best and are honored to help preserve our clients’ legacies for future generations. With two convenient locations serving North and West Philadelphia, as well as Drexel Hill, it is always our pleasure to be of service. Please visit our website for more information.