Although you may not be able to visit and spend quality time with your elderly loved ones, you can still stay in touch while protecting them from COVID-19.
Michelle Wyman, Dementia Specialist with Hartford HealthCare’s Center for Healthy Aging, suggests these ways for families to stay active and keep communicating while maintaining social distance:
- Phone and video calls
Calling your elderly loved ones a few times a day can help reduce their feelings of social isolation. Take time to share stories, tell jokes, solve riddles, play simple games or read aloud with them.
If possible, take advantage of video-call apps like FaceTime or Skype and conference in multiple family members on the same call. Hearing loved ones’ voices and seeing their faces will help brighten your beloved senior’s day.
Stay in touch by texting throughout the day if this is an option.
- Send letters
Give your elderly loved one a surprise by mailing letters. Let them know you are thinking of them and that they are dear to you.
No need to limit yourself to just a written letter. Receiving pressed flowers, printed photos or even a grandchild’s art project can be a wonderful gift to open.
- Book and movie groups
Pick a book or movie to both read or watch, and then have a discussion about it over the phone or via video chat. Also consider finding audio books or podcasts that you can both enjoy.
- Have supplies/activities delivered
Show your loved one that you are still thinking of them even if you are not able to be together right now by ordering groceries or meal deliveries to their home.
Send a gift pack of activities that will pass the time such as Art Supplies, Puzzles, or magazines that would be of interest.
Positive social interactions – even remotely – can help reduce loneliness. Showing genuine interest in others, sharing positive news, and bringing up old memories can enhance our relationships.
For more information about the programs and services offered by The Center for Healthy Aging, click here.
Not feeling well? Call your healthcare provider for guidance and try to avoid going directly to an emergency department or urgent care center, as this could increase the chances of the disease spreading.
Need to see your doctor? New Patient? For more information about Hartford HealthCare virtual health visits, click here.
Click here to schedule a virtual visit with a Hartford HealthCare-GoHealth Urgent care doctor.
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