When you can’t visit your elderly loved one during a quarantine, you still can help them feel involved and connected by taking numerous actions:
- Good morning, Sunshine! Give their day a bright start with a morning phone call or email offering encouraging words for the day. Ask what they plan to do, what the weather will be like and perhaps what your plans are for the day. Establish a good time to touch in each day, and be sure to make it a routine.
- Shoot and send. Throughout the day, take photos with your smart phone, and text or email them to your quarantined senior parent or friend. Try to capture shots of humorous or calming moments – a funny sign you see, your pet, flowers in the garden, or a gorgeous sunrise.
- Sign, seal, and deliver. Send a card or note with a photo enclosed – perhaps from a memorable vacation with them, from your childhood, or a treasured family celebration.
- Shop and drop. If you live nearby, ask for their grocery list and drop off a bag at their doorstep to ensure they’re eating healthfully. Also offer to run their errands, such as picking up prescriptions and making a drop at their doorstep.
- Food to go. If distance is a hindrance, have lunch delivered to their door by any of the popular meal service programs today, or Meals on Wheels, whose delivery driver will report any issues.
- Surprise! Brighten their week by sending a package with an item that will bring them joy – a warm pair of sockets, some notecards and stamps, a book of puzzles, a deck of cards, pre-packaged snacks, magazines, or an adult coloring book with pencils.
- The gang’s all here. Gather your family together to FaceTime with them – perhaps during dinner or another time when your family can include the senior in everyday conversation or a special celebration to give them a sense of belonging.
- Night, night. Sleep tight. Call, Skype, or email them in the evening to see how their day went and wish them goodnight. Keep this contact brief and focus on them instead of your own burdens of the day. End by committing to a time when you will contact them again.