senior lady holding mask looking longingly out window

Isolation. Loneliness. Fear. The pandemic has wreaked havoc on us all in one way or another, but for the elderly in particular, the seclusion essential to ensure safety from COVID-19 has had harmful effects on mental, physical and emotional wellbeing. With the help of a reliable home care provider like Inspired Home Care, offering senior care on the Gold Coast of Chicago and other nearby communities, there are steps that can be taken to reduce loneliness and isolation in seniors and ensure social connections are preserved.

  1. Safe socialization. While we’ve become accustomed to the phrase “social distancing,” it’s not the socialization itself we need to distance ourselves from, of course, but only the physical proximity to others. Staying socially connected throughout the pandemic might not look the same as we would like without physical touch, but there are numerous ways an in-home caregiver can help encourage older adults to still be close to the people they love. Whether a senior prefers 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 are able to help seniors get in touch with others frequently.
  2. Making the most of time with trusted companions. For seniors who live alone, spending quality time with an in-home caregiver can help significantly with easing feelings of isolation. We take the time to play board games, have conversations, bake, do arts and crafts together, perhaps even take an online course together to learn a new language or another skill.
  3. Limiting exposure to the news. While it’s necessary to stay up to date regarding the latest facts on the pandemic as well as other news items of interest, an excessive amount of time spent watching or reading the news is likely to raise a senior’s anxiety and stress levels. Our care providers encourage seniors to create realistic goals related to news intake: perhaps one 30-minute news program in the morning, and another at dinnertime, and fill the remainder of the day with positive television shows, reading materials, and other engaging activities.
  4. Practicing positivity. Thinking about all of the “what ifs” can be frightening. We help seniors shift their thinking to a much more positive mindset and internal dialogue through gratitude, prayer, mindfulness, guided meditation or yoga, or even through encouraging seniors to spend time speaking with a specific family member or friend who has a way of constantly looking on the bright side.
  5. Enjoying nature. Being outside in and of itself eliminates stress; our caregivers safely help older adults enjoy walks as well as other types of exercise for an added calming effect. We are also careful to strictly follow safety guidelines – staying apart from others, wearing a face covering, etc.
  6. Helping someone else. There’s no better remedy to feeling down than helping somebody else up. Even while remaining in the home, there are plenty of ways seniors 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, assembling care packages for the homeless or disabled veterans, making baby blankets for an area organization that helps single mothers, or baking homemade dog treats to send to the animal shelter.

Let Inspired Home Care’s professional, compassionate caregivers help the older adults you love overcome loneliness and isolation. We abide by all recommended procedures to safely care for older adults at home, and love bringing smiles to the faces of those we serve. Email or call us at 847-787-7572 to learn more about our top-rated senior care on the Gold Coast of Chicago and throughout the local area.