By Juli McDonald

BOSTON (CBS) – Nina Diggs is busier than ever. The nurse practitioner is the passionate founder of Elder Keepers – a senior care management and advocacy service. As the coronavirus outbreak worsens, the already-isolated seniors she serves, need her more than ever.

“Imagine being a senior who already has a difficult time navigating a grocery store because of physical limitations – then to get into a store and have all the shelves empty,” Diggs said.

It’s become essential to deliver support carefully to this most vulnerable group. Even at her own grandmother’s house, she’s staying several feet away. There are many other ways besides sharing a meal or in-person visit to show you care for elderly loved ones or neighbors. Right now it’s everyone’s job to find some safe ideas.

“A lot of seniors, you’d be surprised, are really tech savvy. My grandmother has an iPhone. It may take her a little while to get to those text messages but she’s getting there and she’s talking to Siri,” Diggs said.

Whether it’s a grocery delivery left on the front steps, a bright card in the mailbox, or a phone call reminder to take medication… there are ways to reach out, without touching. Many seniors live on a very limited social security budget. It can be nearly impossible to buy medicine in advance or stock up on any extra supplies. Asking what your older loved one or neighbor needs, can make a world of difference.

“It does so much for the spirit. No one should feel alone in everyday life. No one should feel alone through crisis,” she said.

Juli McDonald


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