Our kūpuna need our attention now more than ever. The pandemic hinders not only casual gatherings but also activities that contribute to the happiness of our elderly. This is especially hard for them, since they eagerly look forward to family time, when they get to truly enjoy our undivided attention and company.
Physical Distancing Not Isolation
Dr. Alicia Arbaje, an associate professor of Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, says physical distancing should not be confused with social isolation. More than a year of social distancing could easily be misconstrued as a no-contact situation. Visits with our elderly, especially those in facilities, may have been affected because of this, but there are several ways to make them feel loved and cherished. Innovations such as video calling and virtual conferences are great, temporary alternatives to visitations. Families can set up video calls through their parents’ caregivers or facility management. Or we can teach our elderly to use gadgets for video conferencing. For example, I taught my 85-year-old grandfather to use Skype!
We should not forget, however, that being with them in person, face to face, is very important to their overall well-being.