Supporting Older Adults During Seniors’ Month
Published on June 1, 2020
June is Seniors’ Month. This year, the Province of Ontario’s theme for Seniors’ Month is Aging Strong: Respect and Protect Seniors, a message that certainly resonates with all of us at V!VA – especially during these challenging times.
Due to the risks associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, Ontario’s Chief Medical Office and Public Health authorities have issued strong recommendations encouraging anyone over 70 years old to remain self-isolated at home. Social isolation and distancing can be difficult for anyone, and older adults are no exception.
With Seniors’ Month now upon us, it is a great time to think about what you can do to support the seniors in your life. Here are some ideas worth considering:
Connect Using Technology
While in-person visits might be difficult, today’s technology offers many options for connecting with loved ones via video calling online using hardware and software that is relatively affordable and easy to use. FaceTime on Apple devices is very popular, along with WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger which are available on all major platforms. Alternatively, Zoom and Skype offer the ability to have video calls with multiple people at once. For a more detailed look at what older adults should consider for video calls, check out these blog posts:
- Best Hardware for Seniors
- Best Software for Seniors
Deliver – or Arrange Delivery of – Groceries
These days, going to a grocery store poses a significant risk to seniors. While there are many online grocery delivery services, the websites may be intimidating for first time users. Save your loved one headache of navigating these services by hopping online and placing the order for them. Most of the major grocers, such as Walmart, Loblaws and Costco offer delivery services. Alternatively, third-party services such as Instacart also exist.
If you’re comfortable venturing out to the grocery stores directly, then fill up a few extra bags and drop them off in person at your loved one’s residence. Be sure to maintain social distancing, and respect the protocols any retirement home might have around dropping off perishable items.
A Good Old-fashioned In-person Visit – Socially Distanced!
With warmer weather soon upon us, spending time with loved ones doesn’t have to mean time indoors. Rather, consider bringing a couple of lawn chairs and setting them up in the front or backyard – six feet apart! Even an hour or two spending time face-to-face can make a world of difference to an older adult who is otherwise isolated at home. Remember to stay hydrated though especially on those warmer summer days!
The Right Theme at the Right TimeThis year’s provincial Seniors’ Month theme, Aging Strong: Respect and Protect Seniors, serves as a great reminder to every one of our duty to support the older adults in our life. Whether it’s a parent, grandparent – or even a neighbour – consider the above suggestions to make their day just a little bit brighter.