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Ways to Stay in Touch with Elderly Loved Ones During the Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected us all, and one of the most impactful implications has been social distancing for our loved ones in elder care facilities. If someone close to you is living in an elder care facility, you probably know that the pandemic has significantly changed the methods of interaction with our elderly loved ones due to the risks of personal contact. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that the elderly are more likely to suffer serious health complications if they contract COVID-19. Consequences include hospitalization, ICU care, being on a ventilator, or even death.

Reducing the risk of putting an elderly individual’s health in jeopardy means we need creative ways to stay connected. When a phone conversation isn’t enough, here are a few ways to engage with someone when you cannot do so face-to-face.

  • Add a visual component to your conversations. Video conferencing solutions can take your discussions up a notch and make the distance seem smaller when you are apart from a loved one. Do some research to find an option that suits the person’s comfort level and familiarity with technology. Skype, Zoom, and WhatsApp are all easy to set up and use, but talk to staff members at the elder care center to see if they can assist should it be needed.
  • Send a care package and open it together. People of all ages love to receive gifts by delivery. Add a special touch by making the package-opening moment together virtually. There are many online retailers that will deliver baked goods, books, magazines, and even clothing.
  • Create a book club. You can stay connected on a regular basis by setting up a book club. Literature is also an effective way to bridge the age-gap between older adults and children. Give everyone a chance to pick a book and commit yourselves to reading it before the next meeting.
  • Play a virtual “murder mystery” game. There are many applications available online that enable you to download the story, information for players, props, and other details. You can even choose from multiple themes, such as a train adventure, the Wild West, Russian spies, or the Mafia.
  • Rediscover snail mail. Grab a book of stamps, purchase some special stationary, and stay in touch with an elderly loved one through letters. Include kids’ artwork, pictures, and any other memorable items that will fit in the envelope.
  • Pay a personal window visit. If your loved one lives nearby, schedule a time to say hello safely through a ground floor window. You may need to coordinate your visit with the elder care center, so allow plenty of time to work out the details.

Talk to Our Elder Law Attorneys at the Nawrocki Center for Elder Law

While these tips about staying connected are useful, you may need legal assistance regarding the implications of COVID-19 and your loved one in an elder care center. To learn how our team at the Nawrocki Center for Elder Law can help, please call 810-893-5277 or go online to set up a consultation.

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