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Social distancing is the name of the game right now during COVID-19. To reduce the spread of this novel coronavirus, everywhere, people are supposed to stay away from others and gathering in groups in frowned on.

Seniors are considered a particular high-risk group, so social distancing is even more important for them. However, isolating seniors can be extremely hard on them.

If you have parents or friends in long-term care or in an assisted-living community, here are some tips to help them cope with social distancing.

Communication

Communicate with your senior parents or friends a lot and at regular intervals. Using whatever high-tech or low-tech methods you like, either call or video conference them on a regular basis. Video conferencing is easy, and it’s always more fun to see the person while you’re talking to him or her.

That five o’clock phone call every day may mean the world to your mother or father.

Mindfulness Meditation

Encourage seniors to learn mindfulness meditation. It’s a very effective means to reduce stress, anxiety, rumination, and emotional reactivity. Mindfulness meditation is easy to learn, free, and only takes a few minutes per day. Just google it and send them some links to YouTube videos on how to learn it.

Online Discussions

If your seniors are computer savvy, then encourage them to participate in online discussion forums. They exist on every subject, and there are also Facebook groups devoted to every subject under the rainbow. It’s a way to feel less alone, and you can participate day or night.

Journals

Keeping a journal or “journaling” can be very therapeutic and life changing for some. Encourage your seniors to write down how they are feeling and what they are doing during their days.

Hobbies

Encourage hobbies that can be practiced alone such as photography, art, needle crafts, musical instruments, reading, writing (see above), or anything else that appeals to those you know. Maybe they have some talents they didn’t know they had.

This is a very trying time for all of us. We all have to reach inside ourselves and find creative ways to occupy ourselves until we can gather with our friends and families again.

Also, remember that many museums are offering free online tours. Orchestras and operas are practicing live online. There are many interesting things available online for the first time.

The Hamlets at Westsyde is a residential care and assisted-living community in Kamloops, BC, Canada. With a full range of services, and compassionate care based on the tenets of Christianity, The Hamlets at Westsyde helps seniors live a fulfilling life. 

If you have any questions about this article or would like to talk to us about our community in Kamloops, please call us at (250) 579-9061.

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