Visiting Angels Blog

How Senior Caregivers from Visiting Angels Central Coast Encourage Social Distancing for Seniors in Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties in California

It’s important for elderly adults in Scotts Valley, Santa Cruz, Marina and surrounding areas in California to social distance during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here’s how families and professional senior caregivers can help.

After months of following public health recommendations to reduce the risk of spreading the coronavirus, some people are becoming less vigilant about social distancing. This “quarantine fatigue” is a problem for older adults. Seniors often want to social distance because COVID-19 can be more dangerous to them due to other health complications. The lack of social distancing causes stress for senior caregivers who strive to protect seniors from the coronavirus.

At Visiting Angels Central Coast, we can help you come up with strategies to help your loved one social distance or encourage them to consider the benefits of social distancing if they seem reluctant.

Establish a Coronavirus Safety Plan

Set firm limits about which activities are safe for your older loved one and which are not. Consult a physician or do research on the internet to develop a social distancing plan.

For example, a safety plan may include:

  • Maintaining six feet of physical separation between seniors and visitors at all times
  • Avoiding indoor visits from family or friends; allow outdoor visits only
  • Wearing a mask when with visitors, even outdoors
  • Not sharing food or drinks with others
  • Washing hands or using hand sanitizer when entering/exiting gatherings or public areas

Remember to share your plan with family, friends, neighbors and any professional senior caregivers you hire so that everyone is aware of your loved one’s boundaries.

Use Technology to Connect Loved Ones

The Social Care program from Visiting Angels Central Coast helps seniors use social media, smartphones, emails and texting to connect with loved ones. A socialization strategy may put family and friends at ease and encourage them to respect your loved one’s health and safety boundaries while still giving them opportunities to stay in touch.

Be Honest About Your Concerns

When it comes to protecting your older loved one, honesty is the best policy. If family or friends want to visit and you are uncomfortable about the risk of the coronavirus, share your concerns in a respectful, non-judgmental way.

Use statements that begin with “I”.  For example, “I worry that an indoor visit with grandma may increase her chances of getting sick.” Practice positive, assertive communication. If family and friends care about your loved one, they will understand your concerns.

Suggest Alternatives to In-Person Socializing

When in-person visits are not possible, be creative about connecting via phone calls or digital platforms like social media or instant messaging. Reassure them that their health and happiness are your top priority. You may start to feel like the “social distancing police,” but your preset safety plan can simplify safe socializing rules for friends and family.

At Visiting Angels Central Coast, our senior caregivers can help your loved one adjust to the "new normal," maintain a healthy and happy routine and strive to prevent illness.

To learn how our senior caregivers can help your loved one stay safe during this unprecedented time, contact Visiting Angels Central Coast at 831-703-8974.

Each Visiting Angels agency is a franchise that is independently owned and operated. The Franchisor, Living Assistance Services Inc., does not control or manage the day to day business operations of any Visiting Angels franchised agency.