Amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, social isolation and loneliness are serious issues faced by the elderly population staying in care homes. As a care home manager, you have to think outside the box to keep the seniors engaged with activities that will alleviate isolation and loneliness. Over here we discuss a list of activities that seniors in your care home can do whilst maintaining social distancing.
- Technology – Older people can have certain fears regarding technology. One of them is the fear of breaking or damaging the equipment. Another is security – although many elderly residents don’t understand the common security problems but they have a fear of falling prey to online scams. Caregivers can help the elderly residents understand technology – they can teach the residents how to use laptops and phones. Caregivers can also teach the residents how to safely use social media channels and emails to stay connected with their friends and family members. When it comes to staying in touch, there are a myriad of options – from FaceTime and Skype to Facebook and Instagram. Caregivers can help the residents set up an account and give them a tutorial on how to use these channels safely.
- Games – You can encourage the residents to play word games or cards online. Playing games online offer much more than fun and social interaction. It improves their memory, planning and calculation skills. The residents can play the games with their friends online or even grandkids.
- Virtual experiences – With zoos, art galleries, museums, and music venues closed, elderly residents are increasingly becoming agitated and restless. However, the good news is that many cultural institutions are offering virtual tours to visitors. Google’s Arts & Culture platform has collaborated with world-famous museums such as the Tate Modern and the British Museum in London so that they can show their exhibits online and offer virtual tours to their visitors.
- Arts and crafts – Plan for activities such as knitting, painting and coloring to help the residents stay active. These activities also help them keep anxiety and depression at bay.
- Watching TV – It’s a good way to keep the residents entertained. They can also watch news to stay informed; however, set a time for them to watch the news on TV. As watching news about Covid-19 all day long can bring needless anxiety.
We know the dangers of loneliness and how it can contribute to the incidence of mental illness, particularly depression. During these unprecedented times, it’s important to help the senior residents of your care home stay active and connected with their friends and family members. And your care home staff need to learn skills and experience to support the residents in their use of communications technology. And for that purpose, your staff need more time on their hands. Automation technology can help you streamline a lot of processes in your care home and help your staff spend time on person-centered care. If your care home staff is spending most of their time doing manual tasks like reviewing MAR sheets or updating MAR sheets, then you can shift to eMAR (electronic medication administration record) and automate the medication administration process in your care home.