‘Loneliest Time of My Life’: Elderly in Isolation Need Us Now More than Ever


It’s been one hell of a year so far. Most of us are probably nearing a breaking point, so over the constant cancellations, the social isolation, the devastating death toll which continues to rise and don’t get me started on the dwindling toilet paper in our loos.

Can we all collectively agree to return to 2019 and start again???

But while we’re busy adding kid-friendly crafts to Pinterest and stocking the freezer with frozen veggies, we often forget about how others are faring during this distressing time.

A new world of isolation

In a time of panic buying and pandemic, it’s our natural instinct to protect ourselves and our family. But the people who are most impacted by coronavirus are the elderly and those with compromised immune systems.

These are the people who fear for their lives every time they leave the house, the people who are unable to get to the shops to buy supplies and medications, the people who live alone, who may go days without speaking to a single person, who may have limited access to online resources.

These are the people who need our help and our support more than anyone. And it is more important than ever that we are checking in on our own grandparents to make sure they are okay.

‘I’m missing the little things’

One of the countless grandparents who are currently living in isolation is Sue*. She is a 72-year-old grandma-of-five. She lives alone but she sees her grandkids often. Except for the past 10 days.

During this time she’s been at home, watching supplies dwindle and waiting for the news that its safe to live outside her four walls again. You see, Sue, like many, is at a high-risk for coronavirus and lives in an area where the cases are spiking at a drastic rate.

It’s been 10 days of self-isolation so far,” Sue tells Mum Central.

It’s hard to not watch the news, but I find it’s simply too much to handle most days. There’s a lot of sadness going on and I’m grateful I am healthy and well, but I will admit, it’s the loneliest time of my life.

My days weren’t jam-packed to begin with, but I’m missing the little things – my daily walks, my two days a week with my grandson, even the ability to visit friends down the road. It’s having this freedom taken away that eats at you.

It’s hard, yes, but it’s necessary. And it won’t be forever. I just have to keep telling myself that.” 

What we can do for those in isolation

Offer to help (without risking infection) 

Call daily, see if they need anything, leave a basket of supplies at the front door if they do. Yes, we’re busy dealing with the hell that is home-schooling and hibernating, but there is no excuse for not being able to pick up the phone for ten minutes.

This goes for others in your neighbourhood too. Be the one who reaches out and offers help.

Kindness is contagious.

letter to help during coronavirus isolation
Image source: ABC News

Deliver activities to their door

Sudoku and crossword puzzles, perhaps a journal or diary so they can do some writing, seeds to plant in the garden if they have a backyard, baskets, and labels so they can reorganise their pantries and cupboards.

Facetime and Skype

It’s not the same as popping over to see Nanna, but, during these days, it will have to do.

We love this heartwarming moment below of a son visiting his dad in the nursing home. He can’t go inside but he can sit outside his window and talk to him on the phone through the window. What a beautiful moment.

father and son during coronavirus isolation
Image Source: Sandy Hamilton/Facebook

Keep their spirits up

Most of the people in isolation now have had to give something up, whether it’s a holiday, a weekly class they attend, a party, a concert or even just a catch-up with friends.

Steer the conversation away from the sadness, stay positive and pass this optimism on to them. Be like this Melbourne couple below who missed out on a cruise so made their own one in the comfort of their living room.

#Coronavirus and #couplegoals right here.

We all have a part to play as the world battles through this pandemic. As mums, our number one role is to keep our families safe and healthy.

But in the midst of all the chaos, don’t forget to check on the ones that are completely isolated, alone and probably in need of a chat and a couple of rolls of toilet paper.

* Name has been changed
Avatar of Jenna Galley

Born and raised in Canada, Jenna now lives in Far North Queensland with her tribe. When the mum-of-three is not writing, you can find her floating in the pool, watching princess movies, frolicking on the beach, bouncing her baby to sleep or nagging her older kids to put on their pants.

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