24 Mar How to stay connected during the coronavirus
We are living in very challenging times. Like the rest of the nation, we have been closely following government guidelines around the Coronavirus and we have been sharing our latest updates on our Facebook page. Obviously, as many of the people in our care are considered high risk we have been taking every precaution to keep everybody safe and well. Our priority is the health and wellbeing of those in our care. Many of us are having to self-isolate and this can be particularly difficult for elderly relatives who are used to being independent and coming and going as they please. So how can we ensure we stay in touch during these ever changing times?
Embrace the technology! There are many ways you can still see your loved ones with the amazing technology available. Skype, Facebook, WhatsApp, Google Hangouts and Zoom are all ways to stay in touch via video calls. You don’t need to be a technical genius for these either e.g. if you both have a gmail account you can stay in touch over Google Hangouts.
Did you know you can also play virtual games so grandparents can play easy to learn games such as Connect 4 with grandchildren – all you need is an ipad, computer or smartphone. There are many apps you can download to play your favourite games with your loved one. For example, how about a game of chess on this site? https://www.zynga.com/games/chess-with-friends/
With most children now at home with more spare time on their hands, ask them to draw a picture or write a letter to their older relatives. Receiving a hand-written card or a personalised picture is bound to brighten anybody’s day. Perhaps a short diary could be written each week, to keep elderly relatives up-to-date with what is going on in the outside world. We think putting pen to paper is a positive action for any generation!
It’s good to talk
A good old-fashioned phone call can be easily arranged and even if it’s just a 5 minute chat every few days, it’s helpful to stay in touch. We have shared various articles and blogs about loneliness, particularly amongst the elderly and it’s more important than ever to stay in touch.
Helping in the community
It has been heart-warming to see many people becoming more and more involved in the community in these challenging times. We have seen people shopping for the elderly and checking-in to make sure those vulnerable individuals have everything they need. If you are able to help and get somebody’s shopping or medication, this is a great way of staying in touch.
There are other ways to try and improve our overall health and wellbeing during this difficult time too. We recommend that we don’t sit and watch the news day in day out. Of course we all want to stay informed but endlessly watching “breaking news” on the 24-hour news channels can bring needless anxiety. Typically, not much changes hour to hour. Try watching an update in the morning or even at lunchtime and then check in again at night. Don’t stay with it all evening — 30 minutes or an hour is plenty. We also recommend taking small breaks and trying gentle exercise where possible.
Above all, it’s important to stay safe in these ever changing times, but we believe a little bit of human contact can go a very long way, even if that’s not face-to-face contact. If you have any other ideas of how we can stay in touch, we’d love to hear from you.