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Posted: 18 May 2020 By: Rashi Chaudhary

How to Look After Older People in Lockdown and Beyond?

In order to deal with the uncertainty as a result of the Coronavirus outbreak, looking out for each other has become crucial.

Taking care of people and staying connected is important for many reasons but did you know that these acts of altruism can help with reducing fear, stress, and anxiety that arises due to this global pandemic.

Due to any pre-existing medical conditions or weakened immune systems, elderly people are more vulnerable to infection which is why it is now more important than ever to help them due to their increased level of risk.

We often don’t get to spend enough time with our elderly loved ones, but, with the entire country currently under lockdown, now is surely the best time to connect with them and rekindle those bonds.

Here are a few ways you can help senior members of the family, not just during the outbreak, but for the many years that follow too.

1. Indulge More in Conversations

The key to staying connected with elderly relatives is fairly simple – communicate with them.

Before the lockdown period when everything was going smoothly, we would have to take time out from our work commitments to sit and talk with the older family members. Sometimes, due to external pressures though, we wouldn’t get as much time as we’d like with them.

Now, since the entire nation is facing lockdown, you don’t need a plan to carve out time for those that you care for the most. They need to be loved for, cared for and listened to, so make sure you are always available to help them, regardless of the circumstances.

2. Check-in Online

     

Thanks to this digital era, where we can stay connected with our loved ones no matter where we are is more accessible than has ever previously been the case.

Netflix, YouTube or scrolling endlessly on Instagram might be the way you spend a lot of evenings, but communicating online is a great way to keep in touch with the people we love.

You can have video calls with the whole family or just exchange personal text messages daily to ensure they feel heard and appreciated. If they don’t already own any digital medium, try to find some way through which you can virtually stay connected. It will do everyone the world of good.

3. Acquire New Skills

Our grandparents have an abundance of creative skills such as handcrafts, cooking, painting, knitting, and many more too numerous to count.

As boredom may already be driving many of us crazy, it is an incredibly good idea to learn some new skills from your grandparents to kill boredom as well as spend more time with them. Alongside adding another string to your bow!

Take advantage of this time and make use of their knowledge and experiences to develop a new hobby. It is one of the most meaningful ways to pass time wisely and you get to learn more about your grandparents in the process!

4. Involve them in Fun Activities

Look for some fun things to do with your older relatives to help keep their minds occupied. Here are a few activities that might potentially pique their interest:

  • board games
  • puzzles
  • gardening
  • exploring a new application
  • reading a book
  • watching movies

It will help to keep them excited and actively involved with all the family. In fact, according to HuffPost, fun activities can help to overcome any negative emotions and reduce stress or anxiety, something we might all find helpful right about now.

5. Keep them Active

Image Source: express.co.uk

Lack of exercise is a big problem among the elderly which not only affects their physical health, but also their mental well being too.

To fight this pandemic and help them continue living a long and happy life, encourage them to stay physically active. Ask them to practice Yoga or Meditation as part of their daily routine to strengthen their mental health and introduce them to a more positive mindset.

Sit with them or even join in any sort of technique which helps them to stay fit and active. It will also help bring you all closer together. It can be something as simple as a walk on the rooftop, but anything that helps promote good health should be greatly encouraged.

6. Eat Healthy Food Together

Eating together as a family fosters happiness while being incredibly enjoyable. Many long lasting memories are created over a family lunch or dinner table.

Sharing meals with others builds relationships and strengthens the family bond as well with all generations coming together. During this challenging time, we need to be with each other to share problems and spread positivity around the house.

Keep in mind that your family mealtime should consist of the following nutritious foods that can benefit the health of not only the elderly, but every age group member of the family.

  • Green Vegetables – Spinach, Broccoli, Kale, etc
  • Fruits - Citrus fruits especially such as mandarins, grapefruits, oranges, lemons, sweet limes, kiwis etc.
  • Plain yogurt
  • Chemical-free juices, buttermilk, coconut water for keeping hydration levels in check
  • Nuts
  • Keep away from junk, salty & sugary food

7. Pay Attention To Their Needs

If you’re not living with your elderly realtives, you’ll need to set a plan and offer assistance so that they don’t feel lonely while still getting the necessities they need at home, something that is especially important given the current lockdown

Ask any neighbours to help and check in with them to see if they need anything. Keep their emergency contact numbers handy whenever there is an urgent need and make sure all members of the family have this information should any problems arise.

8. Do Something Special

In order to illustrate just how much you love and care for them, do something memorable and special that will brighten their day.

It could be cooking their favourite dish, giving them a massage, or just listening to their life stories, anything that could help would be a great thing to do right now. The most valuable thing for any elderly person is your presence and company. Making them feel loved is so important right now.

Final Thoughts

As younger people, it is our responsibility to help offer a better quality of life to our older loved ones, the way they have done for us in the past.

Spend time with them, play games and continue to communicate despite any physical barriers in place. It will help you all to form stronger bonds and come out of this difficult time in a better place than where we went into it.

Treat them in the manner which you would wish to be treated when you reach their age.

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