The elderly, especially those with preexisting conditions (heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, respiratory issues including asthma and COPD, etc.) are at highest risk of dying from infectious disease. When they have to go into isolation, they still need regular contact with their family and friends.
Here are ideas to keep up their spirits while you are separated. You benefit from communicating with them, too!
Make that call. Even if you are not with them in person, hearing your voice will do a world of good!
Email. Sometimes, writing is more personal. If your loved one knows how to use a computer, do what you normally do to keep up.
Send them an e-bouquet. Everyone loves flowers! If they are religious, perhaps a spiritual bouquet.
FaceTime. If they are used to FaceTime, then even better to see your face! And if you can have grandchildren talk to them, even better!
Handwritten notes. The art of letter writing is still going strong! Everyone appreciates a kind note, especially now.
Visit their window. If your loved one’s residence permits it, pay her or him a visit from behind the protection of window glass. Even if you can’t meet totally in person, it’s the next best thing.
Share a home video. Bring back sweet memories of time together with family.
Take turns — make a schedule! It’s great to hear from more than one family member. Pick a day or days, and stick to it as best you can.
Finally, think about the best time of day. No matter how you communicate, if you have a live conversation, and you know her or his schedule, make it a preferable time for your parent or grandparent. Maybe s/he has a favorite game show s/he doesn’t want to miss, or traditional meal times and you don’t want your loved one to get cold food.
Remember, these are precious memories for you, too.
By Serrin M. Foster