Keep In Touch While Social Distancing
Not being able to have in-person visits with a loved one in a retirement community is hard on everyone. Even knowing that social distancing practices are best for their health — and yours — it’s still difficult to be unable to spend time together.
But, as families all over the country are discovering, it’s possible to adapt and find creative ways to stay in touch when you can’t be there in person. In addition to phone calls, texts and emails, here are five ideas for you and your family to try.
Social media is full of photos and videos of families seeing each other through the windows of senior living communities. If that’s possible, try writing notes, talking on cell phones through the window or other creative ways to communicate.
Send a small bouquet with a note to brighten up their room and their mood. Check with the community staff — you might be able to drop off a bouquet picked from your own garden. If they have flower allergies, consider sending photos or illustrations of some of their favorite blooms so they can have a permanent garden on display. Give yourself a break from news and social media about the pandemic.
A Little Something Every Day
Send or drop off a weekly package that has seven small tokens of affection, each labeled with a day of the week. Then every day they get to open one and be reminded they’re loved. You don’t have to spend a lot of money. Gifts can be as simple as a photo, a piece of their favorite candy, or a meaningful quote.
Share A Love Of Stories
You and your loved one can download the same book, audiobook or podcast, then have a video call to talk about it. If your loved one is visually impaired, or can’t read for themselves anymore, you can read to them over the phone or on a video call.
Create A Shared Cultural Experience
Music and art are good ways to connect with a loved one in assisted living or memory care. You can find quite a few professional music and theater performances available online for free right now. Find one you’ll both enjoy, and watch or listen together. Or make your own virtual karaoke and sing along to their favorite tunes. You can also visit world-famous museums together through Google Arts virtual tours.
Click here for a downloadable PDF of these tips.