Now is the perfect time to be community-minded. With all of us in isolation, take the time to consider the elderly or vulnerable people in your building, down your road or in your village. Panic feeds panic; lots of elderly people live alone, and they might not have social media to distract and entertain them, so it’s important for us to help where we can – even the smallest gesture might brighten someone’s day. A group of us in my village have put together cards with our contact details, offering to do some shopping, collect prescriptions, dog-walk or just to call for a chat. After speaking to some of my neighbours, distraction is what we all need so here is an idea for a little care package that can be easily put together and dropped on nearby doorsteps. Contact-free caregiving is what we’re focusing on…and this idea works no matter where you live. See my quarantine care package DIY below.
-Get a basket, box or carrier bag that is fairly sturdy
-Include a handwritten note with your phone number. It can just say Hello but it might also be nice to include details about any help you’re willing to offer a neighbour. Honor has been painting sweet pictures, and our neighbour now has her rainbow in their window, which she loves to point at on our daily walks.
-Include a book. Reading is the ultimate form of escapism and with lots of older households forgoing televisions, including a book in your care package is a lovely way to help someone. Keep the titles lighthearted- the classics like Beatrix Potter or Roald Dahl are all good choices, as is something ageless like Winnie the Pooh. You could also offer in your note to book swap.
-If you can, try and put in some food. Dried foods and non perishables are the way to go but you could also include little treats like chocolate, biscuits – we’ve been baking banana bread and in all honesty, it’s the gesture that counts!
-Consider what you might want if you were alone and/or vulnerable. Packs of cards, games or DVDs are all lovely things to include as they will help fill the time for someone stuck inside.
-Anything that has taken some time or thought could really make someone’s time in isolation a lot easier so a little handmade touch is always nice. Flowers from the garden, handmade cards or notes can be really touching and it’s something else to get your children involved in too.
-Put in something personal to you. Working in the fashion and beauty industries, I have a lot of makeup so I put a nail varnish and lipstick in my care package. It can always be re-gifted but it’s something personal from me and it’s the personal touches that have the most impact.
Getting involved in something like this will also be helpful to you. Did you know, we ourselves gain endorphins from helping people? Endorphins are the happy hormones that the brain produces during moments of euphoria and in this case, it’s called Helper’s High. A scientific study showed that people who volunteer once a month are 12% happier than those who don’t, and it was 16% for those who do it weekly. Adorable. Do something nice for a neighbour and you might just put a smile on more than one face. Try your own quarantine care package DIY.
Watch my video below!
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Our street created a text group, and reached out to all our elderly neighbours with a note offering to help. Some of them we knew, some we didn’t. Some of them are now needing groceries, dog walking, and it got me thinking about how to make them less lonely, should they be feeling that way too. Here’s the care package we’re making… just in case you want to do something similar. We’ve got to take care of the Grannies & Grandpas, the way they once took care of us.