Even in normal times, winter can be a difficult time for the elderly. Colder weather and short days mean that there are fewer opportunities to get out and meet people. This winter, we have the added factor of Covid-19 restrictions. These make it harder for people to receive visitors or go out and socialise.
There is hope around the corner with the first vaccine being approved for use in the UK. Even so, the virus will be with us for many months. As we look forward hopefully to a return to normal living we can’t afford to forget life as it currently exists for many elderly people.
Loneliness and isolation are major concerns. The ongoing pandemic can only heighten these feelings with the added fear of possibly contracting the virus. Age UK estimates that around one third of elderly people are finding life particularly difficult.
What Can We Do To Help Combat Loneliness?
Probably the simplest thing we can all do is to be kind and considerate. Take a few moments to have a conversation, offer to help with collecting prescriptions or shopping. Don’t underestimate how powerful it is just to know that somebody cares enough to ask if you need help. According to Age UK a survey conducted for their No One Should Have No One campaign, two million people said they wouldn’t have got through the pandemic without ‘the kindness of strangers.’
Zoom, Skype and other video conferencing technology are helping people to feel less cut off. Having the technology available is one thing, taking the time to use it to contact an elderly relative is even more important. Altogether Care has worked hard to make sure our residents can use the latest technology to keep in touch with family and friends throughout what has been a difficult year for us all.
Maintaining physical visits, as far as we are able, is a priority. We recently updated our Visitation Policy to help us take care of the emotional wellbeing of our residents while also keeping them as safe as possible.
Hopefully, normality is around the corner. Until then, let’s do all we can to help prevent elderly people from feeling lonely and isolated.
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