If you are a healthcare provider who works directly with patients who have been admitted to the hospital or a long-term care facility for other reasons, but have not been diagnosed with COVID-19, you’ve seen how some patients are dealing with isolation and loneliness due to COVID-19 restrictions. They are living under trying and stressful conditions as healthcare providers take steps to protect patients, as well as themselves, from contracting the COVID-19 virus. Here are some ways to lift patient spirits and keep them from becoming depressed as everyone tries to deal with COVID-19 restrictions.
Here are five things that you can do to help patients feel less isolated:
1. If you know your patient’s family members and friends, and they visit the patient regularly in the hospital, remind the patient of something good about a family member or friend, such as mentioning how talented a grandson is at playing football, or how much a friend likes orchids. These positive memories remind the patient of life and love, and put their emotions back into a place of connection rather than separation.
2. Encourage patients to reach out more to their loved ones by making phone calls and writing letters to family members and friends. As the world has changed, people have become more open to connecting through different ways. Suggesting that the patient write a letter to family members and friends can improve the patient’s state of mind and overall well-being, and help them feel less lonely and isolated during the COVID-19 pandemic.
3. Take the time to call one of the patient’s family members or friends to let them know what’s going on. When you reach out to other family members and friends on the patient’s behalf, the patient feels less isolated and more connected as they try to deal with the health challenges that surround the era of COVID-19.
4. Whenever possible, encourage patients to talk to other patients or get involved with social activities that are sanctioned by the healthcare facility. Any social engagement can help patients feel more involved and less isolated.
5. For patients who are bedridden and can’t move around much, give them an uplifting novel to read, or a craft or creative activity that they can do right from their beds, such as making a card or adult coloring.
There are many ways to lift each patient’s spirits. Sometimes they just need to hear about something other than their internal thoughts. The more we talk to them, smile, and make them laugh, the better they’ll feel.
To learn more tips on patient health and wellness during this trying time, follow the Avidity Medical Design Blog.