Dayton Kingery writes for Thrive Global

Whatever challenges one faces these have invariably worsened with the coronavirus global pandemic. For example, for those dealing with depression probably found it got worse. For those who were out of a job, finding gainful employment became harder.  And for the demographics that in general find life difficult, the lack of companionship and opportunity to mingle made things that much more painful.  In particular, that was the elderly population.

Now that things have somewhat calmed down in the sense that we are truly living “a new normal” and on some level know what to expect from how the pandemic is impacting our everyday lives, we can once again try to reach out to the more vulnerable among us.

Here are three ideas on doing just that.

1.       Phone a neighbor
Many elderly are not so comfortable with technology but almost all of them have telephones.  Make it a priority to call them every so often.  Even for a five minute chat.  For those who are a bit more tech savvy, try to set up their devices so that they can do video chats as well.

2.       Send a basket of love
It does not have to cost all that much money to send a ‘basket of love.’ For those who are having financial hardships they can even make them!  Make some jam, scones and run to the store to get clotted cream.  Have your kids (or grandkids) make a pretty card and send it over to your neighbor.  S/he will be delighted that someone thought about them.

3.       Offer to go for a walk
A small stroll could be great for your elderly neighbor.  Especially now that the vaccines are rolling out and s/he should be less susceptible to getting sick from catching coronavirus, try to encourage them to go for a walk, even if just for 10 minutes.  Going to the park together to watch kids play or taking your dog out can make all the difference in an old person’s life.

Winter months can be so isolating for the elderly people in our community.  Now that we are hopefully getting to the other side of coronavirus and more protection is being offered with the vaccine, it is a good time to reach out and help them.