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Elderly Isolation and how to keep your loved ones socially engaged.

Combating Elderly Isolation, especially in the current climate, is no doubt challenging, but there are ways you can help to keep your elderly loved ones socially engaged.  We share a couple of ideas.

Connecting Online

Connecting the elderly to the internet really opens up the world of social connectivity.  It’s really important to take it one step at a time and to keep it simple.  Whilst there are many online sites dedicated to the elderly, it’s crucial not to overwhelm your loved one, so only introduce one online tool/app at any given time and wait for them to master this before adding anything else.

A good easy start is with email and a basic internet search.  Just teaching the fundamentals of sending and receiving messages and researching topics of interest using basic internet search tools.  There are online classes for the elderly to learn basic computer skills or a family member could teach via Zoom.

Zoom is an online video communications platform best used on computers.  It is easy to use and free for up to 40 minutes of use in one online session.  It is extremely popular right now and a great way to connect the elderly with families.  A whole family of multiple members can connect online at the same time no matter where they are.

Skype is a great option offering video chat or skype calls from your computer or phone.

There is also Google Hangouts, Messenger or Facetime.

 

Pets

If you are able to adopt or foster a dog or cat, the benefits of having a pet are considerable as our previous blog shared.  Mental health is improved as is physical activity by caring for a pet.  It is important to choose a dog breed that is suited to your loved one in temperament, size and energy levels.  Our recent blog offered suggestions on dog breeds suitable to the elderly.  There are also pet therapy programs offered in some Homestyle Homes that can improve the social, emotional and cognitive functioning of the elderly.

 

Music

Listening to music provides great joy and it has been shown to stimulate the brain to release a brain chemical known as dopamine, a hormone responsible for feelings of elation, bliss and motivation.

Currently the MSO are hosting a series of online concerts throughout April on Thursday Evenings and Sunday Afternoons.

https://www.youtube.com/user/TheMSOrchestra

 

There are also live virtual concerts being streamed free online.  Everything from the Vienna State Opera to Jazz and Folk and more:

https://www.npr.org/2020/03/17/816504058/a-list-of-live-virtual-concerts-to-watch-during-the-coronavirus-shutdown

 

Classical Music Organisations Live-Streaming & Concert archives online

https://www.classicfm.com/music-news/live-streamed-classical-music-concerts-coronavirus/

 

Fitness

It’s important to keep fit and healthy, but it may not always be possible to be as physically active as we would like.

There are online YouTube Channels and Websites dedicated to exercises the elderly can manage at home. Attending to outdoor plants and interacting with nature where possible is good for the mind and body.

 

With some organisation and innovation, elderly isolation can be tackled at home and in aged care.  At Homestyle Aged Care we have a team of Lifestyle Coordinators who ensure our residents are actively engaged with various projects and activities and not feeling isolated.  If you would like to contact us with regards to short-term or long-term accommodation in one of our homes, you can contact us on (03) 9559 0400.

 

 

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