Self-isolation will leave some older adults feeling lonely, isolated and frustrated. Their usual daily routine will likely be affected and they may be at risk of a decline in health and well-being. Your caregivers can incorporate some simple Care Planning tasks into their visits to mitigate the risk of isolation. Below are a few suggestions for tasks that could be added to your care recipients care plan throughout a period of isolation.
- Assist with exercise/prompt to practice exercise: Finding the motivation to get physically active is difficult at the best of times, this is even more challenging whilst in isolation. Support from a care worker could be beneficial in encouraging your client to remain physically active, which is proven to improve overall wellbeing. Perhaps introduce some chair based exercises if your client is less mobile, Move It Or Lose It's "Get Up and Go" app provides some simple exercises that can be done in a bed or a chair.
- Prepare and serve a meal with drinks: Preparing meals in advance with your client will enable them to maintain a healthy diet and keep hydrated. Make sure that a drink is always to hand and placed where your client can see it and reach for it with minimal effort. Adding fresh fruit or ice cubes can make a drink look more appealing, and hot drinks can be added into the mix as well. Soups, veggies and ice-lollies all contain their fair share of water so try incorporating these into your client’s diet.Most importantly offer your client choice with what they want to prepare to make sure this is person-led.
- Monitoring stock levels of food: To ensure your client has an adequate provision of food throughout isolation we recommend regularly taking note of what’s available in their cupboard. This could be logged directly in the care pro app note section of the visit. If stock levels are low, work with your client to plan how these are going to be replenished. This could be organising an online delivery or collecting food deliveries on the individual’s behalf.
- Offer companionship: Engage in conversations about hobbies, interests and special memories: Your client may be feeling lonely and lacking companionship, offering conversation will alleviate this risk. Find out your client’s specific areas of passion and interest so you can personalise this companionship as best as possible. This could even be added to the client ‘About me' section in the Birdie app.
- Assist to maintain social connections: Your client may be currently isolated from their nearest and dearest, support them in communicating with their loved ones through technology so they feel close to their family from a distance. This could be helping them call family members using a tablet or smartphone. If they don’t have a smartphone, speak with their family to see if this could be arranged.
- Encourage participation in activities: Your client may feel cooped up and unstimulated as a result of self-isolating. Add a task into the care plan that incorporates a fun, stimulating activity such as playing a board game or doing a crossword puzzle. Ask your client what their favourite board game or activity is to ensure this is personalised to their interests.
- Assist to use social media: If you have a client who would like to feel more confident using technology and social media, support them as best as possible to get up and running. This will allow them to interact with their family more regularly or view photos of their loved ones when they want to see a friendly face.
- Collect medication from pharmacy: If your client is on medication and unable to leave the house it may be necessary to inform caregivers to collect medication from their allocated pharmacy or assist in arranging medications to be delivered.
- Accompany to go outside: If your client has some private outdoor space assist them in using their garden so they can get some sunshine. A good dose of sunshine increases our levels of serotonin, also known as our ‘happy hormone’ so is really effective in boosting mood levels.
- Assist to open windows: If your client does not have outdoor space encourage them to air their home environment by opening a window or door. Fresh air helps clear your lungs and enables you to take deeper, longer breaths increasing the amount of oxygen that’s transported to your body’s cells. Increased oxygen in your body translates to greater energy and clarity of mind. Please note that windows and doors should be closed overnight where possible, to keep the client safe.
With Birdie these tasks can be simply added into the Care plan section of the Care Pro app, making them easily visible to all carers.