20 acts of kindness you can do for older adults during a pandemic
These ideas are for older adults in a variety of living arrangements and cognitive abilities.
Call them often
Have children call. Most older adults love to hear from kids.
Offer to pick up items at the grocery store or pharmacy for them and drop them on the front porch.
Offer to order something online to be delivered to them if they are not computer savvy.
Tell them you made too much food (even if it is not true) and ask to bring it over. Don't ask if you can make anything because the answer may well be no. Then make items that can be heated in a microwave. Put them in individual serving sizes if possible.
Visit them from their lawn while they are on the porch. Long term care residents can be visited in a window and you can talk by phone.
Write them a letter.
Have children decorate and write cards. This is beneficial for all.
Have children play instruments and sing from the lawn.
Send them old pictures that bring back pleasant memories.
Help them connect to Zoom or other video conferencing platforms. A great job for teenagers.
Read a book together and discuss it. You can access some eBooks through the library.
Follow a television show together and discuss the episodes.
Play a game where someone starts a story and says and then... Someone else continues the story.
Have them bake you treats and you can pick them up from their front door.
Ask them to 'babysit' your kids or help with schoolwork by phone or electronically to give you a break.
Ask them to write the stories behind objects in their home they want to stay in the family.
Ask them to make you a family tree. They may need to call others to get information, which is also helpful in reducing loneliness.
Do spring cleaning in their yard.
Bring over a dog to their home so they can visit outside with the dog. Use a long lead to promote social distancing.