We worry about our children and other youngsters in our lives, but that doesn’t mean we should forget our older loved ones. Many are isolated for safety, as the pandemic is of particular concern to older adults. The resulting potential loneliness can lead to depression and other health problems. Here’s what NPR recommends to keep their spirits up:
• Have a virtual dinner. Schedule a shared meal via Zoom or another app that allows you to virtually gather. Cooking and eating together, or watching TV together from different houses, can create a feeling of togetherness despite being in different locations.
• Connect to their interests. Find out what they like to do and share that hobby with them. If an older loved one with fading eyesight likes reading, offer to read a book aloud. You can also arrange for audio books that they can access and enjoy at any time.
• Ask for help. Just because people are older doesn’t mean they’re helpless. Often they have useful skills acquired over a lifetime. Ask for favorite recipes. Encourage them to pass down a skill to the next generation.