Staying healthy and caring during this pandemic time is a must to emerge strong. At Unified Caring Association (UCA), we care about you. We care about your health, safety and well-being., UCA has a broad set of benefits that can help you and others during this time. We want to put a spotlight on three key benefit areas important in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.
It’s important to make sure that our loved-ones and the people in our communities are taking care of and self-care is also critical.
Community- Care Giving Support, Volunteering and Network-Communities
A great resource for caregivers is the Caring Village App. This app helps people stay connected with a family member or loved-one to make sure that their needs are being taken care of. The sharable Dashboard, Messaging with Village Members and Wellness Journal are so very important support needed for caregivers. Scheduling Calendars to make sure that there isn’t any missed appointments and Checklists make sure nothing is misunderstood.
In the Community section of UCA benefits is also the recommended Care Zone App. This app keeps track of Medications and with the Careflow Pharmacy you can get Medications shipped directly to where they need to be. In support of caregiving, we encourage participation in the Family Caregivers Alliance. This is a great resource for Caregivers, the public, as well as nonprofit and private organizations to help them be a better caregiver or even know what it is like to be a caregiver. Resources include government health and disability programs, legal resources, disease-specific organizations and more.
Supporting community means volunteering. What can we do in this time to help someone else in need? We may not know where to start. The truth is we are all in the Pandemic together, it’s all about caring for our self and caring for our neighbors and loved-ones who seem out of reach at the moment. A good place to start is with local social media. Connect to local pages on your favorite social network. Search local hashtags related to responding to local needs in the pandemic. In a matter of moments, you will begin to find places where you can volunteer with a coordinated effort or informally with your neighbors, all the while keeping your physical “social distance”.
We found additional resources that can help you contribute time. The National Volunteer Caring Network is a website that you can put in your state and zip code to find areas and programs where you can volunteer your time. The Corporation for National Community and Service is another network for seeking volunteer needs. We all can make a difference. It just takes connecting.
The last tool to spotlight in the Community area is Well Connected. This award-winning FREE program offers activities, education, support groups, and friendly conversation over the phone or online. Well Connected is a community made up of participants, staff, facilitators, presenters, and other volunteers who care about each other and who value being connected. All groups are accessible by phone from wherever you are at no cost to you.
This is a great program with written exercises that can help an elderly person with finding purpose. This program is designed for elders to find the best ways to communicate, have much needed connection and conversation. Part of seniors staying healthy is helping them express their feelings, stories and joys.
Senior Lifestyle Support. It’s also important for seniors to remain vital and have healthy lifestyles with appropriate meals, exercise and participation in activities. During this pandemic time and beyond, Meals on Wheels is a great way to help our homebound seniors. Donate, volunteer to transport meals or provide support to your local Meals and Wheels.
Exercise and fitness are very important for seniors. The curated videos at UCA provide a full range of fitness for senior: warms up to cool down exercises, 10 to 15 minute workouts, seated and standing exercises, yoga and Tai Chi. Don’t forget to exercise eyes! Exercises for enhancing vision help, too. Walking, heart health, osteoarthritis exercises, being active with your grandchildren, maintaining healthy weight, shopping for good food and healthy snacks, as well as tips for drinking enough fluids are all available.
The Senior Crisis Support helps seniors 24 hours a day 7 days a week with a Toll Free line to assist with emotional support, elder abuse reporting, well-being checks, grief support, active suicide intervention, and assistance for isolated older adults living with disabilities.
Mental and Cognitive Health deserves attention in a crisis. If a senior needs help with screening for depression, anxiety, PTSD, alcohol or substances abuse, thinking clearly and memory, Mental Health America is a great place to start. Learn how your brain changes as you age and what you can do to keep your cognitive function at its best. Learn what the National Institute on Aging says you can do to help care for your brain.
For Memory Fitness there are mobile and web apps that can help seniors. Creative memory training boosts and stimulates the mind. The apps we recommend to our members are Memzor, Lumosity and Dig This. All are very unique and powerful.
Taking Care of yourself is what’s the most important in life. When you can take care of yourself and be aware of what is going on inside of yourself you can better help and take care of someone else. It can all come together in a full caring circle.
Self-care is so important especially at this time where we can reflect and ask our self, “how am I doing?“ Is there anything I can do to help take care of myself? The answer is always ‘yes’. UCA created a Self-Assessment from UCA tool for your body, mind, emotions, work, and social connections to see how well your coping and dealing in these areas in your life.
The Personal Wellbeing Survey taken online in partnership with the Institute of HeartMath helps with five key areas that ultimately deliver health and happiness:
“The difference between stumbling blocks and stepping stones is how you use them”- Unknown Author.
Our Mid-Life No Crisis tool applies to men and women who are in the age bracket of 45-65 range where mid-life doesn’t need to be a crisis. Mid-life No Crisis is a kit of 4×6 Cards with special Instructions and suggestions on the five areas that demand our attention: Body, Money, Spirit, Relationships and Mind. If any of this interest you and or a friend or family member that could benefit from these cards, these can be purchased at the UCA Caring Community Store.
Meditation is a great tool to help with self-care. It’s used to improve psychological balance, overall health and well-being, relaxation, coping with healing illnesses and in increased calmness. To find out more about meditation practices you might drop by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative health Site. During meditation you want to make sure you have a quiet and comfortable place. A good seating, sitting, lying or walking position. Listen to music or words you select to play. Let distractions come in and out of your awareness. UCA put together some great meditations for self-care.
Self-care can require quick help. UCA offers its members a 24 hour a day free counselor hotline with toll free confidential calls. This free support also provides referrals to local licensed therapists. Hotline Counseling services cover stress, anxiety, depression, martial and relationship difficulties, grief, substance abuse issues, job stress, child and family issues, wellness, quitting smoking and weight loss, and other mental health issues.
Self-care doesn’t happen without nutrition considered. UCA has just published a new cookbook with easy recipes using simple clean ingredients with all instructions for a dish on one single page. Care to Cook Casually and Quickly is a beautifully 280-page cookbook with laminated pages to hold up in the kitchen. Alternatively, MealEasy helps you plan what to eat, the groceries to buy, and how to prepare meals with easy step by step instructions. MealEasy helps you customize good and healthy meals.
Your life is what we care about. In these crazy and turbulent pandemic times, we are here to help promote, deliver and inspire caring. Our members enjoyed benefits in many areas beyond support for Community, Seniors and Self-care. But, we thought it important to spotlight these given what we are all dealing with today.
We are all being called to do extraordinary things for the collective caring of our families, communities and the world in response to the unique coronavirus pandemic. Whether home bound or providing critical services, everyone is stretched to adapt like never before. All of us are in this together. Now more than ever, caring is what we need most. Caring for our self. Caring for others around us. Life is going to require new routines, resilience and compassion. We invite you to join us in creating a caring movement to respond to local needs.