Together we will get through this

By Nigel Pritchard. Published 2020-03-31
BOLD-Wellbeing
TheBoldAge looks at 5 ways to support elderly relatives that are self-isolating.

Many of us Boldies have elderly parents that are self-isolating, we may, even be ourselves. And, I am sure all of us are looking forwards to the day the drawbridge can be lowered, and we can hug loved ones, reminisce and have a great big party!  And I do mean party.

Even during normal times older people were at risk of loneliness, especially those living alone. Today, and for some time to come it’s anything but normal. So many of our older relatives will be feeling extremely cut-off and vulnerable right now. Those suffering from ailments be they physical or mental, even more so.

Together, we all have a part to play in making sure we are looking after one another.

So, what are the key things we should be doing:

Keep in touch

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The phone is a lifeline, and everyone likes a good natter. It doesn’t just need to be about asking if they need anything, it can be so much more.  You can talk about the garden, the wildlife; What’s been on TV, a show you have both watched. Another idea could be to set each other challenges and report back on the success or otherwise. For example, why not set a fun cooking challenge, or do a couple of crossword clues, let your mind loose.

Get a rota going

It’s great to hear different voices and find out what everyone is up to. Why not set up a rota with other family and friends to make sure someone is regularly getting in touch and having a chat and a laugh.

Use Technology where you can

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One big benefit of what has happened is how people of all ages are beginning to embrace technology. We have hooked up my wife’s parents on Facetime, which has just been fantastic. Though, in the beginning, I’ve seen up too many nostrils for my liking,

Our grown-up children are getting together on Facetime, with their grandparents as well as us, and connecting is such a wonderful way. Next we are going to try a couple of challenges and, using House Party are setting up for family quiz nights. Drinks included.

Make sure everyone stays as active as possible

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Self-isolating is no fun, for any of us. However, at least we can get out for our one piece of exercise a day.  Self-isolating relatives are missing out and its important that they like us remain active. Encouragement is key. Getting out in the garden (if they have one), chair exercises and things to keep their strength and balance up are all great. There are plenty of resources out there to help  

Ensuring older people have the food and prescriptions they need is important – but so too is caring for their mental health. Depression and anxiety can widely affect older age groups too, even if we tend to talk about it less.

Have some fun with parcels

We can all still get on-line deliveries so why not think about some fun packages to put together – some treats, a jigsaw, crossword puzzles, teasers, origami (see our latest article), some dumbbells, ingredients for a cooking challenge. Let your mind wander, there are so many fun things to do.  And its another great conversation piece.

Remember together we will see the light at the end of the tunnel, and I know we as a family are looking forwards to that party!

  • The link is here to our origami article
  • Age UK have some great resources including staying safe at home, which amongst other things talks about scams - see the link here
  • Age UK have also drawn up some guidance on shopping, found here
  • Why not get involved in TheLockdownTheatreClub, they meet up once a week on Twitter and watch a stage related film. See the link below