Senior Care TV

COVID-19 And Senior Isolation

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Hello, everybody, it's Bre from Affordable HomeCare and welcome to this week's episode of Senior Care TV. Our topic today is gonna be something that is important to all of us right now, whether we are in the senior industry or because we have an elderly loved one. It is the impact that social isolation is taking on our seniors.

So I thought it would be important to talk about a couple of things today. What is isolation? What is it causing for our seniors? And what are some ways that we can help? We all know that COVID cases are rising right now in the country and it's so important that we remain on top of things. It's very important that we protect our seniors and ourselves and our health care workers from COVID. But it's also important that we are paying attention to their wellbeing and the psychological effect that this may be having on them being isolated.

Sometimes it can be difficult to differentiate between what may be considered failure to thrive, which I'm gonna talk a little bit more about, or just something that's secondary to a preexisting health condition. So failure to thrive is for instance, often characterized by weight loss, loss of appetite, lower activity levels. But again, this could also be linked to other underlying health conditions. But the biggest marker of failure to thrive is the psychological effect. And it's very closely linked to being isolated. And we are seeing that a lot with seniors right now. Prolonged lockdowns can dramatically alter a person's health. They're used to being social, seeing their family, doing activities, getting out and seeing the world. And that's just not the case for a lot of them right now. They're in their rooms all day. And imagine, we've all seen the effect that it can have on us living with our family members or loved ones or at least being able to work and do things like that. But imagine them not having any of those connections, physical therapy and occupational therapy, rehab services have also been cut because of the pandemic. So that is also contributing to failure to thrive and the psychological issues that folks, particularly seniors are struggling with right now.

The good news is, is some states have lifted some of these restrictions but a lot of the effects that family members are seeing on their loved ones, and the healthcare workers at these facilities are seeing on the residents is pretty significant and sometimes impossible to come back from. So it's important that we find that balance of keeping people safe from COVID, but also protecting them from this isolation and the impact that it's having them because it can be so serious and it can be life altering and life threatening.

So lastly, I wanna touch on how can we help? So the first thing would be if at all possible, teach them to be tech savvy, don't underestimate a willing and able senior who wants to talk to to their loved ones or their friends or their family. Zoom is relatively simple to use. Google Meet can be a little bit more complicated but something even like FaceTime on a phone or Skype, a Skype app on a smartphone can be just the push a button to connect two people together. And I think that that's very important. Enlist them in doing some online workout classes or activities like pottery or meeting up for Bible study or whatever religious affiliation that is important to them. Again, they have to be a little bit tech savvy but it's definitely possible. There are many options available, relaxation techniques, Tai Chi, things like that. Keep sending them things in the mail. Snail mail, everybody loves to get mail, sending them activities, photos from home, going back and forth with correspondence. I think that is very important for them to look forward to something coming in the mail every day. Playing games or doing something interactive over the phone calls to keep their brains stimulated. That could be important as well. So not just a simple phone call, but actually engaging in an activity with them could be important. And something else that I think is really cool that I'm seeing a lot about is, we've always meant to sit down with our loved one and ask them about their life story. This would be a great opportunity to ask them to document it. Talk to them on a device or record it, or if they like to write, have them write it down in sequences. It's not just keeping them busy, it's purposeful for them. So I think that would be a great option as well. And there are a lot of creative ideas online that I've seen to help make this happen.

And lastly, I wanna mention the importance of home care during this time. You can call us, we're considered essential employees. We can go into these facilities where there are some visitor restrictions, we can provide companion care and socialization. We can set up these Zoom calls for you so you can talk with them. We can come right to their homes and provide the care that they need to stay there safely. If you've been enjoying these videos, please click on the link below to subscribe or simply like or comment on the videos. I look forward to talking with you all next week. We're gonna talk about something a little more fun. I'm gonna talk about gift-giving guide for the seniors in our lives, something for the holiday season. Thanks everybody, have a great week.