Keeping Elders Connected Despite Coronavirus Isolation

By now, we all comprehend the need for social distancing and safety measures for our most vulnerable citizens. We have seen how hard hit nursing homes and eldercare facilities have been. So, it is understandable that we cannot visit our loved ones in nursing homes while in the midst of this pandemic.

However, knowing that does not make the situation any easier. We miss those essential moments of connection. And, of course, we worry about how our loved ones are doing. Are they getting the attention they need? Is their health stable? How is the situation possibly affecting their care? Are they or their caregivers under strain?

We have written up some tips in our post What to Do if Your Loved One Lives in a Nursing Home During Coronavirus. You can also download our free checklist of questions to ask when you contact the care facility.

An EasyLiving Care Manager’s Creative Solution for Connections During Coronavirus

Of course, the facility has shut down to outside visitors to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Julie created a plan to help Mr. B’s family connect with him and bring some joy to his day, despite not being able to visit. She worked with the family to create a greetings page for each of them, with their photo and a short note expressing their love. They each used their own words, including terms of endearment for their father and familiar phrases. Then, Julie put these onto colorful paper, making it cheery and easy for Mr. B to read.

The Visit

This obviously brought a lot of joy to Mr. B’s day. And, it was so helpful to his family in the midst of their anxieties for their Dad and the whole situation. It also may just have had a positive impact on the staff who care for Mr. B. It was a bright spot in their day that is often busy with constant tasks and is especially stressful right now. It also reiterates that the work they do means so much to families.

Care Managers Helping Families in New and Different Ways

Our team continues to find creative ways to keep our clients (and ourselves) safe while providing holistic support. Along with the example above, we have been working to set up technology to make it easier for older clients to connect with loved ones and friends remotely. The older population faces an increased digital divide as the world moves online. So, we are helping bridge that divide by assisting in procuring devices, setting things up, showing clients how to use them and connecting them with services like CanDoo for tech support specifically focused on the older generation. Each of our care managers has a Chromebook and iPhone to be able to help clients connect via Facetime and Google Hangouts as well as set up anything they need online.

Staying connected is about the social and emotional, but also necessary for the practical. Medicare loosened its rules on telehealth in response to the coronavirus crisis and many providers are offering more robust telehealth options. We also help set clients up with things like grocery and pharmacy delivery and online banking. Our care managers coordinate this with their families to determine the best ways to manage their needs and handle everything smoothly.

One of the ways our care managers have been reaching out during coronavirus is by filling and delivering goodie bags for clients. They might include some day-to-day items, along with things to make life a little more fun and comfortable during isolating times.

Resources

Contact us for a phone or video consultation to discuss your concerns and resources to help. We are here for you and your family.