During this time of social distancing, it may be difficult to see your loved one in person, especially if they live in an assisted/independent living residence. With these residences that are now closed to non-residents, it’s not hard to imagine that social distancing may be hard on your loved one. Here are 4 easy & fun ways to communicate and connect with your senior loved one during social distancing:
1. Call them on the phone and watch their favorite TV show together
If your senior family member’s favorite show comes on a certain time on TV, call right before that time and watch it together. While watching, you can comment about key parts and laugh or react together. This can be a great 30-45 minutes connecting with each other.
2. If you normally visit at a specific day and time, make that your call time together
Older adults like consistency, as do many of us in general. It’s very likely that they look forward to your visit on the day and time when they know when to expect it. Try to call on that specific day and time to keep with the consistency and give them something to look forward to.
3. Make a dish together and follow along with each other while on the phone
Call each other and create a dish together. This could be a great opportunity to learn a beloved family recipe. Have your older loved one give you steps as you both make the dish at the same time. At the end, you both can try the dish out and comment on how well each of you did.
4. If your loved one has the ability to video chat or FaceTime, even better!
Even better than your loved one hearing your voice, is them seeing you. There are many video tools to help you see one another. If you both have iPhones, FaceTime is easiest to use, but there are other free options like Zoom. These options offer a great opportunity to feel as though you are both in the same room together.
Some older adults can already suffer from social isolation, so these are a few fun ways to virtually connect with them during the time of social distancing. Remembering to connect with your older loved one during this time can make a world of difference to them!