With the coronavirus requirement to remain socially distant, an unanticipated result may be social isolation for seniors caused by more time spent alone. Unfortunately, isolation is also often associated with poor health, including poor memory and thought processes, depression, and functional decline. Our routine methods of socially interacting and the shut down of many community centers have increased solitude and caused a loss of structure in our daily routines.
So, how do you stay connected during these trying times?
-Dust off your address book and call the people you have not had the opportunity to speak with in a while. Share a cup of coffee or glass of wine while catching up with a distant friend or colleague.
-Learn to video conference on apps like Skype, Zoom, FaceTime, or Portal to have face-to-face conversations with children, grandchildren, relatives, and friends to keep connected with their lives. You can have a Zoom cocktail hour with friends, read bedtime stories to the young ones in your life, or play a game of Zoom bridge with your regular bridge partners.
-Try online exercise programs. The Lake House as well as a lot of major exercise franchises are offering online videos of exercise classes in response to the pandemic. Whether you do CrossFit, yoga, dance cardio or Pilates, you and your workout partner can still arrange to meet at a certain time, log in together and do your workout.
-Pen cards and letters to members of the military. Contact Operation Gratitude (operationgraditude.com) to learn more about sending letters and care packages to lift the spirits of our troops.
-Never underestimate the love of a pet. Call the humane society to see if they have need of volunteers to foster or adopt pets.
Staying socially connected can help improve your quality of life by bringing more joy into your life; it can boost your mental health, and decrease your risk of depression. So, reach out in as many ways as possible to connect with your friends, neighbors, and relatives.