1 Tip, 1 To-Do & 1 Tough Topic
for Older Adults and their loved ones  

I hear and read about a lot of people who are running out of steam after being home for three or four or seven weeks now. My sister put it this way: “I was preparing for a couple of weeks [following school Spring Break], not planning for a pandemic.”


Being at home isn’t novel anymore. Here are some thoughts about making it bearable and, perhaps, even productive.


One Tip – It’s All Okay

Grant yourself some grace. It’s okay if everything is not so okay! It’s fine that you aren’t being as productive as you think you should have been. It’s okay if you’re not trying out every new recipe you looked at. It’s okay if you can’t quite keep track of everything. 

Stress takes many different forms and it can really impact your ability to conduct your life as you might like. Cut yourself some slack! 

Do what’s absolutely necessary and let go of what isn’t working right now.


One To-Do – Clean up your contacts

Here’s a to-do that requires little energy. You can sit on the couch, put your feet up, and be comfortable. 

Then – pull out your phone and start updating your contacts. If your contacts are anything like mine, you’ve got duplicates, people have moved, they have new grandchildren (if you track such things in your contacts), they’ve died, or changed jobs and titles. 

You’ll probably be amazed by how many changes there are! 


One Tough Topic – Your Living Will

Some years ago, my aunt moved into a senior community. She lives in her own 2-bedroom house and is entirely independent. When we went to visit, we were greeted by a sign on the door in red:


EMT’s – Look behind the door


Of course, I had to look behind the door! Taped to the back of the door is her Living Will with a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) order. 


You may not be ready to tape it to your door, but you ought to have a Living Will. Last time I wrote about having a Health Care Proxy (HCP). Rather than depend on your HCP to remember all of your wishes, the Living Will puts it down in writing. It’s a record of your instructions should you be unable to speak for yourself. 


A wise way to ensure your wishes are carried out is to provide a copy to your HCP and to your physician. EMTs often look for these on the refrigerator. Don’t want to look at it every time you open the fridge? Tuck it into an envelope and stick that on the fridge.


Here’s a link to a Living Will recognized in the State of Connecticut.


So, here’s your Plan of Action:

  • Update your contacts
  • Fill out a Living Will and get a copy to your HCP and to your physician – and put one on the fridge
  • Give yourself a break and relax! (That recipe looked pretty good….)