It’s almost three months now since WHO officially declared COVID-19 outbreaks all over the world a pandemic. But in many countries, people have been coping with local epidemics for even longer. Many of us are tired and downhearted.
The pandemic doesn’t spare the young – even those who stay healthy have a lot of issues to deal with. But for the elderly, these times are even harder.
Firstly, seniors are at a much greater risk physically. Their immune systems are not so strong anymore, and they have more chronic health conditions. Secondly, they may face greater challenges mentally. With less mastery of modern technology and a generally higher level of anxiety, many elderly people feel lost and helpless facing this global threat.
And these are exactly the times when our elders need us the most. This means that we should try to do our best to reassure them and help to get through this safely.
Below are some suggestions on how we – close or distant relatives and even neighbors and acquaintances – can do it.
Stay In Touch
Social distancing and self-isolation are key in preventing further spread of COVID-19. But for most people of all ages leading such a lifestyle can be very exhausting.
Elderly people have fewer opportunities for socializing – even at “normal” times. Now they suffer tenfold. Younger folks can stay connected with the help of technology: have a chat via Whatsapp, talk via Skype, have a Zoom party, post something on Instagram, etc.
But people from the older generations rarely use all these options as easily. So, if you really want to give your elders some comfort, take the time and teach them the new technological tricks. But don’t forget the good old phone calls and SMS – they still work!
Also, most elders love talking to their grandchildren. But some teens might be reluctant because of the huge amount of academic tasks they have. In this case, students can use some help from professional writing services like https://essaypro.com/ to spare them some time for their loved ones.
Be Super Attentive
Besides simply staying connected and showing that you care, it’s important to be on alert to notice any signs of trouble with your loved ones. Our older relatives understand that this situation is hard on us, too, and often try not to upset us by simply not mentioning their own problems.
So, if you feel that they’re upset, tired, or just uneasy, ask directly about what’s wrong and how you can help. The real problem can be anything from the light blues from bad weather to health issues to sadness from the loss of a friend. It’s highly important to know what exactly it is in order to offer timely help or compassion.
Make Sure They Have Everything They Need
Various restrictions imposed by governments to slow down the spread of the disease have made a lot of things much less accessible than they were before. And in most countries, these restrictions are more severe for people over 60.
Just think of how much the elderly are not supposed to do during the pandemic (the restrictions may vary in different countries):
- use public transport every day;
- maintain their usual health routines;
- go outside without masks and gloves;
- visit their relatives, friends, and neighbors any time they wish to;
- work at the office;
- participate in any offline classes, courses, or societies.
All this is quite a lot to deal with even for the young! And even now, when quarantines in many countries are slowly coming to an end, some restrictions for older people still remain.
Let’s also not forget that even if quarantines are almost over, the virus has not disappeared, and it’s still dangerous – especially for seniors. So, it’s still important for them to take the necessary precautions, and they continue to rely a lot on younger people’s help.
There are a number of things we can do to make our elder’s life easier. Here are some suggestions:
- go shopping for them or order groceries and other necessary goods delivery online; if your elders can’t cook for themselves, bring them ready dishes;
- make sure they have all the necessary medicine, masks and gloves; if they don’t, go to the pharmacy for them or order online;
- arrange tele-medicine calls when possible to reduce visits to clinics and hospitals;
- support their interests and hobbies – order or bring the necessary supplies, help to learn to use computers and smartphones to look for information and communities.
Don’t forget that every person is unique, and everyone has their own needs – before doing anything, ask how exactly you can help.
Provide Them With Reliable Information
Information is overwhelming these days. What’s worse – it’s often contradictory in different sources. It’s quite tiring to consume and digest tons of information daily, plus, let’s be honest, some elders really can’t say what sources are reliable or not anymore.
Every person of any age has a right to have their own opinion on any subject, and we’re not calling for imposing your point of view on anyone. But to have an opinion, one has to be informed. So, keep your older relatives, neighbors, and acquaintances updated regularly. They should know what’s happening, what restrictions still apply, etc.
The COVID-19 pandemic turned out to be one of the greatest challenges humanity has faced in recent decades. The effect of the disease itself and the unprecedented measured taken to fight it has put people’s well-being at great risk – physically, financially, and mentally.
The young have suffered from these effects, too. But seniors are the ones who face much greater risks. Today, it’s still highly important to be attentive and supportive and help them get through all this unharmed. After all, our loved ones are our greatest treasure.