Managing seniors’ isolation in a pandemic – Global News Calgary

Jodi Hughes (00:00):

One of the most revealing aspects of this pandemic is our awareness of how much we value connection. Depending on your circumstances, there is a good chance that you’ve experienced moments of isolation over the past 10 months, above and beyond what might be considered normal for your life. Alana Carlson is with Ohana Care health services, and she joins us now to talk more about this. Good morning Alana, thanks for being with us.

Alana Carlson (00:22):

Good morning. Thank you for having me.

Jodi Hughes (00:24):

Alana, isolation has been an issue for many seniors even before the pandemic, hasn’t it?

Alana Carlson (00:31):

Certainly, yes. We’re all hearing about how isolation has impacted our normal day-to-day routines and our everyday life.

Jodi Hughes (00:40):

And we certainly have noticed that with these restrictions and the limitations on our ability to be with our parents, this has posed some challenges for not just seniors, but also for family members. There’s a lot of guilt in not being able to be with your loved one, but the companionship that some healthcare workers can offer can actually be so valuable in that regard. Can’t it?

Alana Carlson (01:07):

I think absolutely. So, it’s always great to remind families that home care options and home care workers are considered essential workers. And therefore during these times, and during the pandemic, we are still able to go into their homes or their loved ones homes to offer companionship services and really create connection essentially, assisting them in managing their day-to-day activities and lifestyle, nutrition and exercise. So, it’s really helpful to introduce us into their homes.

Jodi Hughes (01:43):

And it’s interesting, I had this conversation with somebody just the other day, about how often when you do bring somebody into the home, if you can’t be there yourself, it can be an opportunity too, to just take a look around, make sure there’s food in the fridge, make sure that light bulbs that need to be changed can be changed. And that’s all part of that pandemic and making sure that the loved one in your life is being taken care of. Isn’t it?

Alana Carlson (02:07):

Absolutely. I think it’s really a team approach to ensure that everyone’s remaining connected during these times. And so, whether that’s you yourself caring for a loved one or having the assistant of an essential worker come in to the home, it’s just so important that everyone is keeping a watchful eye out for others.

Jodi Hughes (02:28):

And I know that we keep using the word creative when we talk about this past year. Creative solutions for everything. But if you told somebody at this time last year that they’d be using iPads and FaceTime and Zoom to speak with their loved ones, I think they would probably think that you are off your rocker, but technology has certainly played a much bigger role this past year. Hasn’t it?

Alana Carlson (02:51):

Absolutely. I think we’ve all become much more comfortable with FaceTime, Skype, Zoom particularly, but a really awesome thing that’s also become quite prevalent is in the home care world, we’re also using technologies to ensure that families are remaining connected. So, family portals are being introduced so that if a family member isn’t here or local, they’re still able to check in on their parents and see what’s going on in the household.

Jodi Hughes (03:21):

And that security is immeasurable without a doubt. Alana, thank you so much for joining us this morning. For more information, folks can head to


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