Communities and churches have adopted a slew of initiatives to help seniors keep occupied and connected. And that is wonderful.
But when we speak of seniors we are speaking of people age 55 and above. I myself am a senior, but I am a young senior that can still get out on my own. Even if my church suspends worship, I am capable of joining a small group to worship through live-streaming.
But we have a number of seniors in their 80s and above (some maybe younger) who are more vulnerable. These have been shut-in for close to two months. And perhaps getting symptoms of “cabin fever.”
And we do not see the light at the end of the tunnel for this confinement.
The caregiver, whether it’s a family member or a FDW (foreign domestic worker, who herself is probably isolated because of the same issue) can be facing frustrations from seeing only the “four walls.”
Both in the Old and New Testaments, old age is addressed. Encouragement is given to love and care, and how we should conduct ourselves to fathers, mothers, older men and women. Rebuke is also mentioned to those who treat older people otherwise. Check out some biblical principles we can follow as we think of seniors: Exodus 20:12; Leviticus 19:32; Psalm 71:9; Proverbs 19:17; Matthew 6:21; Matthew 7:12; John 19:26-27; Galatians 6:2; Philippians 2:4; I Timothy 5:1; Hebrews 13:16; James 1:27; 1 John 3:17-18;
Many societies tend toward downplaying the older generation. Perhaps this is the time to reach out and care for them. To let them know their value.
What can you do for older seniors who are “locked in?” Don’t wait for them or their family to call you. Why not take the initiative and reach out to them?
The following are some suggestions for both immediate families and the body of Christ. You will have to check the feasibility of these suggestions. There are many suggestions, even if physical presence is not possible.
A little coordination needs to happen here, to ensure their physical advisories are considered (that is, everyone is healthy) and they are not overwhelmed or over tired. A good practice may just be to stand and remain outside their metal door.
In a day where the cost of cards and postage are on the rise, few cards are received. Sending a larger print, home-made cards can help brighten the day. Including a photo will help with identification.
“Run by” the above with the family.
While it is not a good idea to take your seniors to crowded places, there are a couple of suggestions to remain “safe” and yet get them out for a little while. It will help prevent the feeling of isolation:
Let’s do our part at this time to “do good to all men, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.” (Galatians 6:10)