Despite the Isolation, You Are Not Alone
COVID-19 has made us all a bit lonelier, but older adults have been especially hard-hit. At The Village at Woods Edge, one of the things we love most about our village is the strong sense of community, and we have found creative ways to continue to remain connected while physically distancing is a necessity.
We know that loneliness can be as dangerous as smoking a pack of cigarettes a day, yet the pandemic is also dangerous — if you’re 65+, you have a much greater chance of contracting the disease than people in their 20s. Thus, we must take precautions, yet not become totally isolated.
As we’ve said before, staying connected is important for our mental and emotional health. Yet how do we reach out during the COVID-19 pandemic, which necessitates isolation for our physical health?
The Village at Woods Edge encourages you to connect, even if it’s by using new technologies or channels you haven’t used before. You can do it!
- Make a video call. If you have a smartphone, you can easily Facetime or Google Meet with a loved one. You might also want to check out a Viewclix, a simple frame that bills itself as an easy way for seniors to stay in touch. The Amazon Echo Show provides a similar way to make video calls, and it connects with other Amazon devices. With Skype calling you can stay in touch with friends and family around the globe. The GrandPad claims to be “the smartest, simplest, and safest way to connect seniors with their loved ones so they never miss another memory.” We have an onsite tech team who assists residents with video calls, and we are continually researching technology to see what might help our residents connect during these times.
- Pick up the phone. The Village at Woods Edge has a spirit of neighbors helping neighbors, and that can be a simple as checking in on people in your world. Even if you can’t video conference, you can phone a friend. Read books to your grandchildren by telephone or connect with an old friend. Some organizations are looking for volunteers to do phone work. Check out these virtual volunteering opportunities.
- Learn a new game. Many online games allow you to join teams and play with other people. Create a team with family members and enjoy chatting about the game. Whether you want to farm (Hay Day), renovate a house (Homescapes), or garden (Gardenscapes), you can join a league and rack up some stars. In fact, one of our residents recently became a top player in the Wordscapes app! Ask friends what they play, and explore your App Store. Beware: While most game apps are free, they often have in-game charges that are totally optional (but tempting when you just want to reach the next level).
- Go for a walk. Being outside and staying 6 feet apart lessens the risk of transmission of disease. Wear a mask — it will help keep your face warm on extra cold days. And if you visit The Village, be sure to check out some of the walking paths around our community, such as the river walk!
Staying connected may take a little extra work now, but reach out. It’s good for you and for those around you. You are not alone!