A lot of us have been observing lockdown away from our parents. While some stay in a different city or country than their kids, others may be staying away to protect them from catching the novel coronavirus.
It is common knowledge than senior citizens are at a greater risk of catching COVID-19. However, despite that, it can sometimes get difficult to explain that to your elderly parents. It may be difficult to get them to abide by social distancing norms from afar, considering they love that morning walk so much.
Considering that our parents are used to a particular way of life, getting them through the lockdown can get difficult. They want to go out and meet their friends and family or want to go to the nearby market to get those fresh fruits.
There are several things you can do to keep your parents occupied during the lockdown, even if you’re away from them. These things will allow you to take care of them remotely, while also ensuring they’re happy and content with the care you’re showering on them from a distance.
Order Their Groceries Online
This may be actually one of the most difficult things to get your parents to accept. Throughout their lives, they are used to going out and buying their groceries themselves, handpicking what they eat.
However, at this time, it is important to make them understand the risks with venturing out and try to get them to stay indoors as much as possible.
One way to do this is to take care of their food supplies so that they don’t have to go out for it. Introduce them to online ordering and do it for them initially. To make sure they’re satisfied with it, include them in the process. Ask them to make a list of foods they need and list out the quantities they would want to be delivered. Call them when you’re placing your order, to give mirror the feeling they have when they go out grocery shopping.
Introduce Your Parents To Technology
Agreed, a lot of them may already be some level of tech-savvy. But maybe the lockdown is the perfect time to make them learn something new on the internet that will keep them engaged.
So take their phone or desktop and download an application. Or maybe show them how to use a website you know they’ll like. Lately, I’ve taught my grandmother how to use YouTube via voice command and now she’s on it all day listening to religious sermons.
You could do something similar to. Maybe create a playlist of old shows or movies on Netflix and share it with them. Or introduce them to Pinterest with new sweater ideas they could knit.
If they’re avid readers and have a kindle, you could set up books for them to read. A lot of our parents are used to reading the newspaper daily, and you could sign them up for online newspapers which they can go through on their e-mails every morning.
Get Them In Touch With Their Loved Ones Via Video Call
Your parent’s social life is really important to them. It’s how they keep busy, interact with others and stay happy in their day-to-day. With this lockdown, a lot of them are confined in their own homes and all their park meets and walks together aren’t possible right now.
They may be feeling a tad bit lonely because of this, and video calls could be the solution. There’s a high chance they are already using Whatsapp, so getting them to video their friends and family shouldn’t be much of an issue.
If they’re looking to talk to a lot of people at once, maybe you could set them and their friends up with a zoom call or sign up on skype for them!
Ask Them To Exercise At Home
This is another point of contention you may be facing with right now. Our parents are creatures of habit, and their morning walk or exercise is something they swear by.
With lockdown in place, they haven’t been able to do that and it's one of those reasons why they would be itching to go outside. Exercising during the pandemic is important for all, and some sort of physical activity for your parents would do them a world of good and keep them busy as well.
Convince them of the effectiveness of home workouts and teach them easy to do exercises for which they don’t have to step out of their homes. This could be as simple as climbing up and down the building stairs or just taking rounds of their living room.
You could also send them a few videos that they can follow, and hopefully, that’ll be enough to keep them in their homes.
Keep Checking Up On Your Parents
You may be underestimating the importance of this one. After all, they’re your parents and they’re as worried about you as you are for them.
So make it a point to check up on your parents and call them daily. Share them what your day has been like, and converse with them like you normally would. You could also update them about the prevailing situation to make sure they get the correct news and don’t believe the countless forwards we know they’re getting.
Your little act of calling your parents daily and letting them know that you’re safe and reminding them to stay in right now will do both of you a world of good.
Ultimately there are only so many things that you can do remotely. While some of these may be met with resistance from your elderly parents at the start, remind them that you’re doing this for their benefit. Be patient with them and try to figure out different ways to keep them entertained within the confines of their home.