Physical distancing during the “Stay at Home” order is important to the health and well being of the masses, but how can we maintain important human connections with the seniors we love while in lock down? Physical distancing is necessary, emotional distancing is not. More than ever, our loved ones need connection with family and friends to stay encouraged during this difficult time.
Over the past weeks, we have seen some wonderful examples of people “visiting” in creative ways. Here are a few ideas that can make a real difference in the life of a senior who is staying home (or in a community) during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Visit through the window. We have seen several families making window visits at CRISTA. Rather than enter the building, they stay outside and talk face to face through the glass and by phone. We have even seen birthday celebrations. These live-in-person visits bring fun and spontaneity to everyone who lives in the community.
Have a Virtual Coffee Hour. Using Zoom, Facetime or Skype, you can have face to face gatherings online. You may need to “coach” by phone to get your loved one set up, but it is a fun way to gather and share any family news in person.
Deliver Flowers. Many grocery stores still have an active floral department. Now is a great time to have a cheery bouquet of flowers delivered to your loved one. Use a delivery service, or deliver in person, and your loved one will be delighted.
Send a card. Snail mail is back in fashion! Sending a card or hand written note can bring long lasting joy to family members young and old as they remain at home. If you are the creative type, take advantage of making them by hand. JacquiLawson.com is a great place to find beautiful interactive digital cards for a small yearly subscription.
Play Virtual Games. There are some great games that allow for more than one player like online bingo, trivia, and karaoke. Bring a sense of fun, community and normalcy to your family and incorporate the kids into the games too.
Let the Kids Text. Getting a text from the grandchildren is a delight! Send video and photo texts daily to keep in touch with your family. Allow them to experience family life and the adjustments you are going through as well, to help everyone feel like they are in this together.
Although social isolation in senior communities is not a new phenomenon to the COVID-19 pandemic, now is the time to take notice and make a difference. CRISTA Senior Living provides a caring staff, engaging activities and a loving environment for our residents, but that can never take the place of a loving family who stays connected with their loved one.
CRISTA Senior Living is connecting & celebrating generations through grace, compassion & inspiration, you can find out more at www.cristaseniorliving.org
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