Reports from Age UK have shown that 3.8million people over the age of 65 live alone with 58% of them being over the age of 75. The chances of them feeling lonely, sad or even disconnected are high normally, let alone during the pandemic.
The pandemic has left a lot of people feeling lonely due to the social restrictions that were put in place to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Especially the elderly. With most things closing down and the only thing you could leave your home for was food and exercise with those you live with we had to change the method of communicating.
Now restrictions have been lifted, a lot of people are still being careful on where and when they go out and may not be back to their usual social routines. Just because we are now able to go out and see friends and family and go out to places, doesn’t mean the elderly feel comfortable doing this.
If you are still worried about how your loved ones are feeling, Luca Rado from The Live In Care Company has put together some ideas on how to make sure they are interacting with as many people as possible and generally keeping active.
- Keeping them busy
- Keep in contact
- Make inclusive plans
1.Keeping your relatives busy
Keeping your loved one busy is the biggest form of distraction from the feelings of sadness or loneliness. Now restrictions have been lifted, you could take them out for nice walks with lovely scenery to admire or if they are unable to walk far, arrange activities that are suitable for them. Maybe spend some time together and watch a favourite movie of theirs or do some baking/ craft activities together at home.
2. Keeping in regular contact with them
Making sure you stay in contact with your relative when you cannot get over to visit them is really important. If they have learnt how to video call during the pandemic then call them to see how they are. Still being able to see you and even your children will make their day. Or even just a simple telephone call to tell them about your day, ask what they have been up to or even talk about past memories will make them feel good. A great idea would be to get them some paper and pens and encourage them to write to their friends. This will make them feel great as they will be surprising a friend and it will also be a pleasant surprise to them too when they receive a response back!
3.Make inclusive plans with them
We have all gone from regular social interactions to basically zero which has been a shock to the system for most people. Daily routines were no longer a thing but now places are back open, we are back to doing our day to day activities. For the elderly that means social clubs are back open. Helping them find out when these activities are back open will be a great help to your loved one. For those that do not attend social groups or unable to get there, arranging lunches or light activities that you can attend with them is a great way to get them out of the house and doing things that were once normal.
If you are even the slightest bit concerned about your loved ones then reach out to them and ask if they would like to join you on a walk or a lunch or even an activity to do at their home if they aren’t that mobile. They will appreciate it and will have something fun to look forward to.