Dear readers: People continue to have the concerns that they had before the virus, except now most questions include, “How do I handle this considering the way life has changed?”
So, yes, next week I’ll return to our question-and-answer format. Today, though, I wanted to pass on a small sample of the information that’s been coming my way in case it’s useful in your circumstances.
I’d like to apologize to print readers for the fact that most of this information is only available online, but this is where, now more than ever, we can best help people learn what’s happening. So, here we go.
Letters of love: From Friends of the Elderly (brought to my attention by a reader).
“We’d love it if you’d write a handwritten letter today to support what we do. Please note that we do not accept emailed or typed letters.”
They go on to say that at this point, “Right now, our biggest need as an organization is donations. Due to an overwhelming number of letters coming in, we need donations to keep our Letters of Love program and other programs up and running. If you are able and want to support our elders, please consider supporting Love for the Elderly with a small donation.”
Learn more on their website: www.lovefortheelderly.org/letters
Excellent caregiver resource: Daily Caring is always a good caregiver resource, but they are doing an extraordinary job right now of updating and consolidating information specifically for caregivers trying to cope with the pandemic.
I’d also suggest that you sign up for their emails because these are especially valuable right now. Find more on their coronavirus page: https://dailycaring.com/coronavirus-and-seniors-everything-you-need-to-know/
Low-cost or free internet connection: Again, from Daily Caring, here is an article about free or low-cost internet options for those who aren't connected yet. Because more carriers are joining up, check your own area, as well: https://dailycaring.com/7-sources-of-low-cost-internet-for-seniors/
From the Caregivers Action Network (CAN): “Are you caring for a child with significant health care needs? A veteran that has returned from service with serious or aggravated injuries such as TBI or psychological trauma? An older loved one with Alzheimer’s (or another dementia?) If you are a family caregiver and have questions or just need to talk, consider reaching out to the Caregiver Help Desk.": https://caregiveraction.org/helpdesk
Another inspiring organization: Timeslips.org can help you learn to create stories with your older adults and connect in more meaningful ways.
Here are some other ideas for older adults who can use a tablet or computer.
Grandpad: If you’re looking for an easy-to-use tablet for your older adult, the tried-and-true Grandpad is specifically designed for adults over 75 or those who are not tech-savvy. Using one of these devices can help them keep up with friends and family.
Maria’s Place: This service is offering activities kits and support for half price because of the coronavirus, so it might be worth a check if you are having trouble keeping an older adult with dementia content.
Again, keep checking online for other options as well, since more services and options are being announced daily.
Carol Bradley Bursack is a veteran caregiver and an established columnist. She is also a blogger, and the author of “Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories.” Bradley Bursack hosts a website supporting caregivers and elders at www.mindingourelders.com. She can be reached through the contact form on her website.