Staying connected with loved ones during the pandemic has been a challenge for all of us, especially the seniors in our lives. Those who are over the age of 65 are among the most vulnerable to the virus, resulting in the suspension of in-person visitation in assisted living, health care facilities and other senior living communities. This can lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness for our older relatives, so keeping in touch with them has never been more important. Here is a list of safe ways to help feel close when you can’t be together.
Watch a Movie Together
Watching a movie as a family has always been a popular pastime and is still an option, thanks to online streaming services. There are several services that allow you to host an online movie night for free. If the seniors in your life aren’t technologically savvy, ask for help from a caregiver or share your screen. Since most movie theaters remain closed, there is an abundance of movies on streaming services.
Take Online Tours Together
Throughout the pandemic, many famous museums and landmarks have offered virtual tours. These include The Louvre, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Guggenheim and even the Eiffel Tower and The Great Wall of China. Disney World even has virtual rides available on their YouTube channel. Take advantage of this opportunity to cross something of your bucket list and share the experience with a senior in your life.
It may seem old-fashioned but getting a piece of mail that isn’t a bill or junk can brighten anyone’s day. Having young children draw pictures or write a letter is an added bonus that will be sure and boost your loved one’s spirits. Letter-writing also gives you a chance to be more thoughtful in your communication and may help you remember more things that occur during the day you might forget to share during a phone call.
Host a Virtual Family Game Night
Family game night has always been a fun way to spend time together that doesn’t have to stop during a global pandemic. Apps like Zoom, FaceTime and Facebook’s Portal can be utilized to include loved ones in a fun game of trivia, charades or Pictionary. There’s an online version of Bingo that’s free for up to 30 players and includes everything needed to enjoy the classic game.
Send a Care Package
Sending a care package to any senior in your life can help them feel special and is a wonderful surprise. Include items like crossword or sudoku puzzles, framed family photos, their favorite snacks or books by their favorite author. Taking the time to put a care package together lets them know that they are on your mind and shows how much you care.
At Shannondale, we are always looking for opportunities to help our residents feel important and loved throughout the COVID-19 crisis, while continuing to keep their health and safety as our top priority. We’ve been heartened by the community support received through our Share a Smile and Wreaths of Joy campaigns and continue to strive to be a source of encouragement for everyone who calls Shannondale home.