We are all dealing with the effects of social distancing during this pandemic and although we understand how crucial it is to keep apart, this isolation from friends and family can be extremely difficult for the elderly.
While isolation is the best way for the older generation to stay safe, it can increase the chances of feeling lonely or depressed. Fortunately there are many simple ways your children can help them to feel less isolated and alone.
Read on for some great ideas from an independent school in London, on how children can make a difference and help the elderly stay connected during the pandemic…
Set up a video call
Online video calls are an ideal way for children to communicate with the elderly. Services like Zoom, FaceTime and WhatsApp, can all be used to keep in touch. Mastering these new technology skills may come as a concern to some senior citizens, however the good news is these skills can be learnt at any age. Perhaps you could first post some easy to read, step by step instructions to help your friend or relative get set up. Once they have got the hang of it your child can then schedule a regular call to share their news.
Use the post
Sometimes it’s nice for both children and adults to go back to basics and use the more traditional methods of communication. Everyone loves to receive a surprise letter in the post, so help your child to make an elderly person smile by posting a thoughtful gift. If you don’t have a relative to write to, you could set up a pen pal relationship through a local care home. This will be a good opportunity for your child to practice their writing skills or get creative with some crafting.
Routines & hobbies
It is a good idea to encourage seniors to make a routine and include a favourite hobby. This will help to structure their day. Perhaps your child could create a hamper of goodies to keep an elderly loved one busy? For example, they could include a quiz, a crafting activity or a puzzle to give that special someone a fun activity to focus on each day. Another great idea for older children is to start a reading club. Send in a copy of the book your child is reading to an elderly friend (or group) and agree to read the same number of pages each week. They can then discuss the story and what they think will happen next on regular calls.