Battling Loneliness, Boredom In Elderly Friends, Family During The Pandemic

May 4, 2020

By: Sana Maslar-Donar|WKOW.com

WKOW (MADISON) — With Wisconsin’s Safer at Home order extended until May 26, and the threat of catching coronavirus still present, many elderly Americans are likely feeling lonely or bored at home.

Maura Horton, who spent more than a decade as her husband’s caregiver during his battle with Parkinson’s disease, is a voice of experience and guidance for others.

She shared some ways that families and friends can make sure their elderly neighbors, relatives, and friends can stay engaged while they stay home.

She said there are two basic premises. One is to be creative, and the other is to be curious.

“Whatever path that takes you on, that’s where you should go,” Horton said.

There are plenty of things she suggests for virtual engagement, including cooking otgether or playing checkers. Families can also just engage by reading books.

“Have a grandparent possibly say goodnight to their grandchild by reading a favorite story,” she said. “There’s so many things but I think if you always start with the premise of being creative and curious, you will lead it’ll lead you down the right path.”

Since you won’t be able to see your elderly family and friends as often, Horton also recommends paying close attention to physical clues that could indicate health issues.

“Older generations tend to shift over time and you want to make sure their speech isn’t slurred or they sound up and positive,” she said. “Make sure that you’re tuning in to the subtle cues that you might miss if you aren’t seeing them on a weekly, or monthly basis.”

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