By Sarah Vance.
Yes, we are in the middle of a health crisis. It is serious and we all should be informed. However, sitting around and worrying constantly is not healthy or fun. So I make sure we take breaks from all the news stories and social media feeds (affectionately known as ‘Doomscrolling‘ by Merriam Webster). And we practice deep breathing to relieve stress.
By being creative, there are lots of activities that can be done to divert attention from the crisis while taking safety precautions and practicing social distancing. These can include stretching and exercising, singing and enjoying music, crafts, personal hobbies, puzzles, writing and reading. For those in which reading is a challenge, I may read an interesting book to them, and discuss it as I go along.
I think it is also critical to keep personal contacts with family and friends. Video calls don’t replace personal visits, but they are fabulous alternatives when visits are not possible. And seeing one’s family on the screen absolutely brightens a senior’s day.
The key is to make sure the screen is big enough to match the person’s ability to see and that the volume is loud enough. Also, if there are multiple people on the call, I remind them to slow down, not talk over one another, and check every so often to make sure their senior loved one is able to follow the conversation. And I highly recommend to them that the call include topics in addition to Covid-19.