During the busy holiday season, staying connected with the aging adults in your life can be a challenge, even more so during the COVID-19 pandemic. Because the risk for serious illness from COVID-19 increases with age, it is recommended that those over the age of 65 limit their interactions with others as much as possible.
While this may complicate how you interact with your loved ones, there are many simple ways you can help them feel more connected and less alone during the pandemic. You can:
Create a telephone check-in system for your loved ones. Assign family members a day each week to call an aging adult to see how they are doing. Share favorite holiday memories! If you already call them once a day, consider increasing those calls to twice a day.
Send cards and letters through the mail. Enclose a photo that illustrates a favorite memory—a moment you shared with your loved one.
Consider visiting through a window. Your loved one can stay inside the house, and you can remain outdoors. To communicate, you can use telephones.
Ask your loved one to share their favorite recipes with you.
Start a family pen pal program with your loved one. Include multiple generations. Be sure to send your loved ones stamps ahead of time so they don’t have to worry about buying them. They can simply put a stamp on their letter and put it in their mailbox.
Consider a book club that includes family and friends. Mail the book to your loved one, and develop questions you can discuss during weekly ‘book club’ phone calls.
Explore senior-friendly technology products that can be used to connect you with your loved one virtually. Many seniors enjoy connecting virtually with their loved ones, as well as the chance to take advantage of virtual museum tours, concerts and educational programs.
About One MacDonough Place
If you notice that your loved one needs more assistance during the pandemic, are concerned about them during the winter months or worried about them during times of increased isolation, you may want to consider assisted living.
Assisted living communities have screening tools, enhanced cleaning protocols and infection control practices in place to keep older adults safe during the pandemic. In addition, communities like One MacDonough Place provide a built-in, 24/7 support system, and they are able to provide assistance with personal care needs, nutritious meals and increased opportunities for socially-distanced interactions within peer groups. They also offer virtual, interactive programming to ensure that the mind and body stay actively engaged.
Middlesex Health is proud to offer a unique Lifestyle Medicine Program that is designed to help individuals address their risk for chronic conditions like diabetes, obesity, prediabetes and high blood pressure through diet, exercise, stress management and social connectivity.