By Kris Garrison, LivWell CARES
With “Shelter-In-Place” and social distancing orders in place nationwide as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, everyone is starting to suffer from social isolation. However, seniors are hit hardest by these safety measures. According to AARP, older people and people with underlying health conditions appear to be about twice as likely to develop serious outcomes versus otherwise younger, healthier people. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is particularly concerned about these people, given the growing number of cases in the United States.
So, what can you do to survive the safety measures in place? First, be prepared. Order prescription refills. Some local pharmacies offer delivery services or delivery by mail services. Check with your pharmacy to learn their policy. If they won’t deliver, consider changing pharmacies to one that offers a delivery option.
Most local grocery stores are offering delivery services now, so make out your grocery list and make a phone call to your grocery store. If you are computer savvy, you can also order online and pay by credit card. Many local restaurants are also offering take-out and delivery services during this time. If you have a favorite restaurant, give them a call! You’ll get a good meal and you’ll be helping keep local businesses afloat during this crisis.
If you have a computer, tablet or even a smart phone, take advantage of online communities, social media and Skype, Zoom, or Facetime to keep you in touch with others. There are online groups for almost any hobby or interest you may have. If technology isn’t your thing, how about doing it the old fashion way? Write a letter, a REAL letter! If you have trouble seeing or writing, maybe you can dictate the letter to a friend/family member. Write to a grandchild, cousin, a friend with whom you have lost touch. Remember the thrill of receiving a letter addressed to you? If writing isn’t your thing, then pick up the phone and call that long lost friend. Nothing can take the place of a live voice on the other end of the line. You may both be happy you made that call.
No matter how tough things get, remember that social distancing and sheltering in place are temporary measures to get us through this health crisis. Eventually, our world will get back to normal. And who knows, maybe a lasting effect of this period in time will be better communication between people who discovered (or RE-discovered) the art of letter writing, and the joy of actually speaking with friends and family, instead of communicating by email or text. If we work together, we can get through this.
LivWell CARES, a local non-profit that serves economically disadvantaged seniors, can help you navigate through the maze of senior living options and has referral relationships with local senior facilities. If you’re concerned that you might become an “elder orphan,” let us help you. Contact Kris Garrison at LivWell CARES: email@example.com, 563-334-3700.