3 Easy Ways Seniors Can Stay Connected to Family During Quarantine

3 Easy Ways Seniors Can Stay Connected to Family During Quarantine

(Guest post by Kelsey Simpson. Kelsey enjoys writing about things that can help others. She lives in South Jersey and is the proud companion to two German Shepherds and spends her free time volunteering in dog shelters.)stay connected

As the world is slowly reopening, many people are still making it a point to stay at home as much as possible and are continuing to self-quarantine. As people are spending the majority of 2020 indoors, they are missing out on seeing friends and family. This unfortunate reality is true for so many people, especially the older generation as they have to take more precautions to preserve their health. Let’s look at three ways to stay connected during these stressful times.

One home care expert I spoke with pointed out that because of the precautions that seniors have to take to stay healthy, they are missing out on quality time with loved ones. But what if they didn’t have to? With modern technology, there are countless ways for seniors to stay connected while in quarantine, this post will detail the top three.

Take Advantage of Video Chatting

Video chatting is an outstanding technological innovation that allows people to stay connected to one another. While in quarantine, make it a point to schedule weekly or even daily video chats with friends and family. Whether you talk for an hour a day, or 5 minutes a week, video chatting is a great way to stay up to date with what is going on in your loved one’s lives. Some video chatting software to consider includes:

  • Skype
  • Facebook Messenger
  • Zoom
  • Google Hangouts
  • Facetime

Utilize Social Media and Online Games

Social media and online gaming is another innovation that should be taken advantage of. Social media is a great way for you to stay connected with loved ones without having to plan a time to talk. Instead of setting a certain amount of time aside a day or a week, you can simply check your loved one’s social media accounts when it is convenient for you. You can send direct messages on social media while also reading your loved one’s statuses and looking at the pictures they post.

Like social media, online gaming is another outstanding way that you can stay connected. You can play your loved ones in online games while also messaging back and forth. You can play online games on social media, on gaming systems, on apps, or even on websites there are thousands of games to choose from as well.  This is especially a great way to stay connected if you have young family members in your life such as grandchildren.

Start a Virtual Book Club

Starting a virtual book club is a great way to stay connected to family members and friends while also doing something productive to keep busy. Choose a book with your loved ones and make it a point to talk about the book either daily or weekly. You can talk on the phone, via messaging, or video chat.

Likewise, a virtual book club will give you something to look forward to and will also give you something to talk about with your loved ones.

Make an Effort to Stay Connected

Staying connected to friends and family doesn’t have to be hard. With everyday life stressors, it’s easy to not take the time to stay connected, however, staying connected is more important now than ever. Make sure to check in on family members during these trying times.  Using these tips to stay in contact will be beneficial now, and after quarantine too.



The Self Defense of Caregivers, Sixty and Me

BY  • Sixty and Me May 2, 2020  •  CAREGIVING

Caregiving can often feel like a full-contact sport, and all too many caregivers find themselves under siege by other family members and even the ones to whom they provide care. This sense of attack drives caregivers either into despair or eventually erupts in rage.

Both of those avenues compound the heartache of caregivers and pile on guilt, depression, and other dark thoughts. While caregivers desperately desire to defend themselves, they often feel overwhelmed and outmatched.

However, by incorporating a few principles learned through martial arts, caregivers can regain their footing and learn to better direct the seemingly endless barrage of criticism leveled at them. My friend and colleague Peter Rosenberger joined me for my Caregiver Summit to offer concrete solutions.

Peter was speaking in Alaska to a group of nurses and caregivers, and he asked on a lark how many of them had ever been choked or grabbed by a patient or a loved one. The answer? All of them.

That made him think about how many caregivers feel like the life is being choked out of them by their loved one and by the circumstances. He was determined to find and share ways in which caregivers could defend themselves physically and emotionally.

It Starts with Self-Esteem

Self-esteem is not about ego. It’s about you as a caregiver recognizing the value that you have as an individual and as a caregiver. It is a window into what your heart looks like; what it means to you to willingly and knowingly put yourself in a vulnerable situation and sometimes even disaster.

Caregivers often berate themselves and look at themselves with disdain because they see their failures but don’t see their attendance record, which is perfect.

Peter says that when you have more self-esteem, you’re going to care better for yourself, and that’s going to have health implications and all kind of other useful benefits.

It’s OK to Say NO!

As Peter points out, NO is a complete sentence. NO!

We have permission to say no and not capitulate to every demand that’s put on us not just by our loved ones, but by family and friends, by medical staff, and so forth. Peter actually employs self-defense principles in tackling caregiver issues.

So, for example, balance is a key element of self-defense. What does it look like for caregivers to keep their balance while taking the balance of those who seem to attack them? One of the first rules he studies in hapkido is keeping your balance.

Don’t let your shoulders go over your hips. That’s physically what it looks like to keep your balance. Emotionally this looks like learning to recognize that it’s okay to say no. It’s okay for you to not go to every fight that you get a ticket to.

If you’re defensive you’re reacting. But if you are defending, you can move away and keep control. On a broader level, it’s about staying secure and in control of your own thoughts, words, and deeds and not have someone else take that from you.

Fight What’s Closest – First Things First

Peter urges us to focus on the immediate tasks at hand. What’s the first immediate thing that you have to deal with? Prioritize!

When his wife had a horrific accident at 17, first responders had to prioritize the line of events. First, they had to put out the fire. Then they had to stop the bleeding to get her to safety.

That’s a good lesson for caregivers. Let’s put out the fire. Let’s stop the bleeding, and let’s get to safety. Let’s don’t try to do complicated surgery in the midst of a burning car.

You often don’t realize it when things are coming at you a hundred miles an hour. And sometimes there’s so many of them that you just break down and don’t do anything. It’s important to tackle what’s in front of you but also what’s under your control.

Peter cautions that you have to constantly remind yourself of these lessons and practice them – otherwise you get rusty.

Anticipation Makes Things Worse

Just like worrying about things you can’t control gets you nowhere, you can’t create all these “what if” scenarios and have them floating around your head. Tomorrow’s not here. Anticipation builds-up fear, angst, and anxiety – even before a problem occurs.

Let’s wait for the issue to unfold before we decide how we’re going to respond. It’s probably not going to be as bad as we think or as good as we hope it will be. It’s going to be what it’s going to be, and we’re in a better situation to respond to it once we face it.

See the Big Picture, Slow Down, and Take a Breath

By looking at the big picture, caregivers can push back against this rush to fix things. Sometimes it’s as simple as taking a breath.

Have you ever received an email that really ticked you off? I did once and made the mistake of responding to it immediately with how I really felt. Boy was that a mistake!

So, I learned to take a proverbial breath. Sometimes I would draft a response email just to blow off steam and never send it. Now, when I read such an email, I would stop to digest it, and come back to it the next day with logic and reason.

Real breathing is important. So, take a breath in for four seconds through your nose. And then breathe outwardly in a controlled breath. It doesn’t cost you anything.

Calm yourself down and think through the issue. Is it something that you have to rush to right this moment? Is it something that you have to torture yourself about? Is this going to matter in 10 years?

Slow your heart rate and slow your mind. The last guy in the room to freak out is usually the leader. A 300-hitter in baseball is a fine player. That’s hitting three out of 10 times and it puts you in the Hall of Fame.

So, we don’t have to get it right every single time. And rest assured, you are in the Caregiver Hall of Fame already!

How about you? Do you employ some of these techniques to stay calm and in control of your caregiving? Let us know.

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