Help them communicate with modern tools

One immediate way to reduce loneliness and keep seniors busy is to make sure they have access to some online communication, such as Skype or FaceTime. It's also useful to introduce them to any forums or medical websites that might be useful for their particular needs. And don't forget faith-based websites (like Aleteia!) that can help them to reflect and pray in their own home.

Set up regular chats

Give your loved ones something to look forward to by arranging regular times to have a video visit or regular call. This will help punctuate their day and give them a sense of rhythm. It's even better if grandkids can get involved, too.

Keep them stocked up on any medication needed

Get any prescriptions filled and dropped off at your senior person's home. Also make sure they have the essentials needed if there is a power cut and they're left without electricity or fresh water -- this should be common practice even in coronavirus-free times.

Create practical online accounts set-up

Whether it's a site for online grocery shopping or one that specializes in lending a practical hand, make sure your elderly family members know how to use it. If they can't, then create the accounts yourself and do any shopping or make necessary practical arrangements on their behalf.

Drop off care packages

With the elderly being vulnerable it is wise to keep your distance. This doesn't mean they can't know how much you care. You can carefully put together a care basket, ensuring your hands are clean and any products have been carefully handled, and leave the basket outside their door.

Carry out acts of kindness

Simple acts of kindness can make all the difference. You can make sure any garbage is taken out (avoiding any physical contact) or do a bit of gardening -- it's always lovely to be able to self-isolate in a beautifully kept garden!

Listen to them

History has offered up many difficult situations for humanity and your elderly relatives will have experienced a few. This is a time where they can share their past and the difficult situations they've lived through. So learn more about your loved ones and no doubt you'll be amazed at their resilience. It's also a great way to reassure them and give them confidence that this too will pass.

Get creative

Although video calls are indispensable, it is always lovely to have some form of physical presence. If you live nearby why not drive over and keep them company -- even through a window while chatting on phones. You might find this makes you feel a little less lonely, too!

Keep them stress-free

Social media and the myriad of conflicting news sources can leave anybody feeling stressed and confused. Try to encourage loved ones to look at lighter material, and you could send them the odd joke -- there's a huge variety going around at the moment.

Keep them in your prayers

Let your loved ones know they're in your prayers. And remind them that although Masses have been suspended around the globe, priests are still offering Mass and many parishes are offering different kinds of support virtually.