Isolation. Loneliness. Fear. The pandemic has wreaked havoc on all of us in one way or another, but for senior loved ones in particular, the seclusion required to ensure safety from COVID-19 has had adverse effects on emotional, physical and mental wellbeing. Compassionate Nursing Services, a leading provider of St. Louis nursing care and home care, shares the steps we’re able to take that can help reduce senior loneliness and isolation, helping loved ones to retain the social connections which are so vital to their health.
- Safe socialization. While we have become accustomed to the phrase “social distancing,” it’s not the socialization itself we need to distance ourselves from, of course, but merely the physical proximity to others. Remaining socially connected during the pandemic may not look the same as we would like without physical touch, but there are numerous ways an in-home caregiver can help encourage seniors to still be near to people they love. Whether a senior favors old-fashioned letter writing and phone calls, or is open to making use of social media or technology for virtual face-to-face conversations, we can help seniors reach out to others often.
- Making the most of time with trusted companions. For older adults who live alone, spending quality time with an in-home caregiver can help significantly with easing feelings of isolation. We make time to play board games, bake, have conversations, do arts and crafts together, perhaps even take an online course together to learn a new language or other skill.
- Limiting exposure to the news. While it is important to stay up to date on the latest facts on the pandemic as well as other news items of interest, a great deal of time spent watching or reading the news is likely to raise an older adult’s stress and anxiety levels. Our caregivers encourage older adults to create realistic goals associated with news intake: perhaps one 30-minute news program each morning, and another at dinnertime, and fill the rest of the day with positive TV shows, reading materials, and other engaging activities.
- Practicing positivity. Considering the various “what ifs” can be overwhelming. We help older adults shift their thinking to a far more positive mindset and internal dialogue through mindfulness, prayer, gratitude, guided meditation or yoga, or even through encouraging the senior to talk with a particular family member or friend who has an approach of regularly looking on the bright side.
- Enjoying nature. Being outside in and of itself reduces stress; our caregivers safely help seniors enjoy walks along with other forms of physical exercise for an added calming effect. We are also careful to strictly follow safety guidelines – staying apart from others, wearing a face covering, etc.
- Helping somebody else. There is no better elixir to feeling down than helping someone else up. Even while remaining at home, there are some ways older adults can impact the lives of others. Together, we can brainstorm ideas related to an older adult’s particular interests and passions; for example, writing and mailing cards of encouragement to nursing home residents, putting together care packages for the homeless or disabled veterans, making baby blankets for an area organization that assists single mothers, or baking homemade dog treats to send to the animal shelter.
Let the best St. Louis home care agency, Compassionate Nursing Services,’ professional, compassionate caregivers help the seniors you love overcome isolation and loneliness. We adhere to all recommended procedures to safely care for seniors at home, and love bringing smiles to the faces of those we serve. Reach out to us at 314-432-4312 to learn more about our top-rated St. Louis nursing care and home care services. To learn about all of the communities we serve, please visit our Service Area page.