Many who are reading this article today remember World War 2 and the Depression. A time when communities naturally pulled together to support one another in crisis. Now many have been put in a similar position, but our enemy is a virus. We can’t go out, can’t shop for food or medicine, businesses are struggling and companies cannot operate as usual. These are unprecedented tough times and we need to be able to step up to help.
But with all the restrictions, what CAN we do for our neighbors?
Leave an “I Can Help” Note for your neighbors. After posting an“I Can Help” form on a local Facebook group in Bothell, hundreds have printed these out and have given them to their neighbors. It has created a strong sense of community as well as an open forum for people to ask for help.
Pick up drive through meals. Many food workers are stranded without work. This will create critical deficits financially for both individuals and businesses. Some local restaurants have been able to shift quickly to offer curbside meals for pick up, allowing restaurant staff to continue working and keeping everyone safe at the same time. This is a great time to pick up a meal for yourself and for a neighbor while you invest in your community.
Shop for someone. Although many stores have opened ups specific shopping hours for those over 60 years old or at high risk, it is still best for many to stay out of public spaces. Offer to pick up groceries for your neighbor who may not be able to do it themselves.
Call to talk. This is probably the most important tip of all. Stay connected with people by calling on the phone. Just having someone check in with you on a daily basis can ward off depression and make people feel that someone cares. Many no longer have family to keep in touch with, so a friendly neighbor is “good medicine”.
Write a note of encouragement. Snail mail is popular again. One art group is encouraging artists to send out a note to someone they know who is elderly with an artistic flair every day. This gives the artist an opportunity to be creative and bless someone else with a beautiful card at the same time. Even just a simple, “thinking of you” card can be of great encouragement.
Check In Daily Our family has set up a morning text group and everyone has to check in. We all know to respond quickly if there is not a response. Although everyone has been healthy so far, and nobody is required to participate in long conversations by text, it is a safety measure that we all value. It also keeps us in touch with the family happenings on a daily basis.
Drop off Flowers Whether it is flowers or some other gift of cheer. Everyone loves to have their day brightened by someone who is thinking of them.
Offer a Pharmacy Pick Up It is critical that people are able to pick up medications in a timely manner. For those who are disabled or unable to drive, they can call the pharmacy ahead of time to pay and you can pick up medications for them.
Provide for the local food bank Local food banks are hurting right now. When you do shop, pick up a little extra and drop it off at a local food bank.
Walk a dog. Those who are homebound may not be able to take their pets out for exercise. You can help by offering dog walks. If your neighbors do not need dog walking and you have been thinking about getting a dog… Perhaps you can “Foster” a dog. Being mandated to stay home, is a great time to acclimate the dog to your home and you to them. Wouldn’t it be great to find a new “Best-Friend” during this time.As more of us are isolating during the Corona outbreak, we are all forced to ask for help in ways that can feel uncomfortable. But history has proven that Americans can rise to the challenge to help their communities and become great neighbors. Reach out to someone today and if you aren’t sure who to call, call us, 206-546-7565. We are here for you.
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