Helping a loved one who lives alone and without assistance remain healthy and independent is a challenge, especially during the pandemic. Try these tips that include tapping the power of tech tools to help your aging loved one stay safely engaged physically, mentally and socially.
Plan regular walks around the neighborhood. If you’re well and have been faithfully following CDC recommendations, a stroll with a nearby loved one while wearing masks and keeping a safe distance can be truly invigorating. It also offers an opportunity for them to wave to the neighbors and share how they are faring.
Share virtual meals. Order food from a meal delivery service to arrive at a designated time. Then talk on the phone or on video via FaceTime or Skype during the meal. Or, try making favorite family recipes together while connecting virtually.
Attend virtual events together. Check out virtual concerts, lectures, live-streaming religious events, and even tours at museums or zoos. Some virtual events provide a way for attendees to “chat” live along the way. If applicable, see if your loved one’s friend or neighbor would also like to attend.
Foster family ties. Your loved one can read aloud to younger kids in the family during a designated story time video call. Or, everyone can read books on their own and share their thoughts over the phone. Try watching the same TV show or documentary at the same time to ignite discussions that span generations.
Is your loved one struggling with loneliness? Look into connecting them to virtual counseling.
70% of seniors are now connected to the internet—if your loved one is among them, see if they need help setting up social accounts to help them feel more involved in their family and friends lives.
Remember, older adults who stay socially engaged have better physical and mental health—it can help their brain function and even extend their life.