Senior citizens are already struggling with compromised health, and the pandemic has just made their situation much worse. With an unseen and so far incurable threat in the air, our elderly need our help now more than ever. However, you also need to follow the proper safety practices, or else you will just be putting them at risk.

If you want to help your elderly during the pandemic, here are things you can do without compromising their safety.

Donate supplies to homes 

Nursing homes have been struggling since the start of the pandemic. Because the people staying there are all senior citizens and those with disabilities, they are extremely vulnerable during this time. Therefore, their staff needs to be extra careful to sanitize and clean their facilities to prevent an infection. You can do to help our elderly by donating supplies to nursing homes and assisted-living facilities (ALF).

Particularly they would benefit the most from medical supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE). Since the pandemic, there has been a massive shortage of gloves, face masks, and PPE even amongst hospitals. Nursing homes and ALFs are no different, and more than 2 percent report that they are struggling to meet demand. Unlike hospitals, smaller nursing homes do not have access to suppliers of medical equipment.

Aside from that, decreased staffing has also made day-to-day maintenance difficult in these facilities. Helping them out with groceries or disinfecting equipment can take a huge load off their shoulders.

Teach them about technology

Many older adults have been isolated by their families, either because of distance or for safety reasons. Since the pandemic has been especially hard for everyone, being in contact with loved ones can ease the burden. Although they cannot physically visit them, calling them is a welcomed alternative. What you can do to help your elderly is teach them how to navigate modern gadgets for them to connect with family.

In a past survey, it was found that over three-quarters of adults over the age of 65 need someone to help them set up their gadgets. Even then, many have a tough time navigating through its different features and buttons. Teaching them how to use essential parts, such as accessing news and video chatting, is one of the best things you can do during a pandemic.

More than just being able to contact family, technology gives them access to the latest news and updates. It keeps them informed of what is going on with the virus and the risks that it poses. You are also indirectly helping their family by easing their nerves. Many people get anxious about the health of their grandparents, so getting calls from them lessens their worries.

Assist them with getting groceries

Older adults have weaker immune systems, so they have a higher chance of getting severe symptoms of the virus. This also leads to possible death or complications even after they have been cured. That is why it is strongly advised that they limit travel and outside interaction. However, it cannot be avoided for those that have no one else to help them. Groceries need to be bought, and many are still in the workforce.

If you have an elderly neighbor who is struggling, offering to buy or simply giving them groceries is one way you can help. Since you can still transfer the virus through items, make sure to wash your hands and disinfect the items before giving them. With things like fruits and vegetables, you need to wash them in running water without using soap.

Another thing you can do is show support to food banks and programs. These help people who are dealing with food insecurity. They will ensure that food is delivered straight to the doors of those who need them.

Provide mental support

Helping the elderly doesn’t always have to include spending. At the very least, you can help them by just providing an ear to listen to their problems. Many of them worry about their friends and family, and not having contact with them will make them even more nervous. They need someone to comfort them or to listen to them vent as well. 

For those who are not frontliners and generally work from home, you can visit an elderly neighbor and spend time with them. They may not necessarily need to vent, but just the presence of another person could be enough. Depression is a serious issue, and this can result in deteriorating physical health when left unchecked.

Meta title: What You Can Do to Help Senior Citizens during a Pandemic
meta desc: When helping the elderly in a pandemic, it is important to exercise caution. Find out how you can safely help them in these trying times.