According to a study by the University of California at San Francisco, seniors who reported being lonely were at a 45% greater risk of mortality, and isolated seniors were at a 59% greater risk of physical and mental decline compared to their peers who were more active and social. There is no doubt that being social has a big impact on our overall health, especially as we age. During this global pandemic, social-isolation is the best way to prevent any spread of COVID-19, but while staying indoors may keep you safe from the virus, it won’t protect you from feeling lonely. Because loneliness affects so many seniors, we have put together a few resources and tips to avoid feeling lonely during COVID-19.
How to Help Seniors Avoid Feeling Lonely During COVID-19
- Stay connected – It is important, now more than ever, to stay connected with friends and family. Schedule phone calls and/or video chats along with text messages and emails to help compensate for the lack of in-person contact.
- Send a care package. – If you know a loved one who is currently living alone, they may not have the same resources you have to stay safe or are unable to go out and find these resources themselves. Because it is difficult for elders to get to the store, consider sending your loved one a care package filled with foods that will last a few weeks, over the counter medicines, health supplies, and cleaning supplies.
- Host a book club. – Now is the perfect time to catch up on your reading and you can do so by inviting friends and families to join you. Each week, have one person choose a book for everyone to read and by the end of the week, schedule a call or video chat session to discuss!
- Look up online classes and events. – Connect with others in your community by attending online zoom classes or events. Visit your local YMCA website for live online workouts or visit Baptist Health online for webinars on caring for your mental health.
- Write a letter. – Writing a letter is one of the most heartfelt ways to stay connected. Not only is it a personal sentiment but it also gives your loved one something to brighten their day.
- Rely on your pet. – Studies have shown that pets can help combat loneliness. The World Health Organization has stated that dogs cannot contract the virus, but it is still recommended to wash your hands after coming into contact with your pet. If you do not have a pet, the Miami-Dade Animal Shelter and other local shelters are offering fostering programs.
For more resources on how to avoid feeling lonely during COVID-19, we encourage you to visit Connect2Affect, an online source that allows elders to stay connected.
If your loved one is currently living at home alone and you are concerned about their mental and physical well-being, it may be time to consider an in-home caregiver. The caregivers at 24/7 Nursing Care, are there when you are not able to be. Let us care for you or your loved one during this difficult time. Our caregivers adhere to strict CDC guidelines and are meticulously screened. Caregivers do not have to be medical professionals but can be qualified companions who are able to assist your loved ones with light housework, errands, or act simply as a form of social interaction.
Contact 24/7 Nursing Care to learn more about our services and which works best for you. Call us at (786) 518-3622 for Miami-Dade or (954) 949-1332 for Broward County.