Caregiver Tips for Outdoor Activities
As the world is continuing to deal with the changes brought about by COVID-19, many people are becoming more isolated inside their homes. Apart from the anxiety that can come with worrying about the pandemic, increased isolation, less time outdoors, and decreased social interaction can have negative impacts on mental health and behavior.
If you are a family caregiver, chances are that COVID-19 has impacted your day-to-day caregiving routine. Additionally, your aging loved one is likely to be impacted by new social guidelines, like social distancing, quarantine, and being isolated indoors. In this blog, we want to offer advice for how caregivers can protect themselves and their loved ones from the damaging effects isolation, loneliness, decreased time outdoors.
A Word of Caution
It goes without saying that all of these recommendations must be consistent with guidelines from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) to prevent the spread of coronavirus. We do not encourage anyone to go into crowded environments or to put themselves at increased risk. All of our recommendations will not involve exposing one or their loved one to others thereby endangering them. All recommendations to go outdoors should be in relatively unoccupied places, while your aging loved one should be accompanied only by their needed caregivers.
Tips to Beat Isolation
(1) Do something active outside: Depending on you and your loved one’s physical activity levels, find an activity to perform outdoors, like going for walks around the neighborhood or parks. This is likely one of the healthiest and safest things you can do to get outside, get exposure to sunlight, and to avoid crowded environments. When walking past others, remember CDC guidelines of social distancing, like staying six feet apart and wearing masks if necessary.
(2) Bake or Cook: This can be a great activity even if it means staying inside. Cooking and baking require concentration, planning, and—the best part—eating delicious food. This is a great activity to do if you are on your own or with your loved one if you happen to be in the same household during quarantine. Additionally, cooking and baking are great ways to spend time productively.
(3) Garden: Another great way to get outdoors is gardening. Not only is this activity a safe one to do in times of quarantine, it has physical and mental health benefits. Just be sure to stay hydrated and take breaks from being out in the sun for too long.
(4) Relax/Meditate Outdoors: One of the best things to do is to expose yourself to moderate amounts of sunlight (about 20 minutes) and relax. This is an activity that is accessible to many people across the spectrum of physical abilities. For example, if you are caring for a loved one who is primarily in a wheelchair, perhaps you can bring them outside on the porch, make them their favorite snack, and spend quality time outside.
(5) Rely on technology: One of the best ways to keep social interaction going is to rely on the technological resources available all around us. It is easier than ever now to video conference a friend who lives literally across the world. Do not underestimate the importance of checking in with friends and family at least once a week. Social interaction can have great benefits for emotional and mental health.
If you have any questions, please call ElderCare at Home at 888-285-0093 or visit our website.
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