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Virtual Holiday Connections

Virtual Holiday Celebration
By Tim Bodor

If there is anything that the pandemic taught us, it is that we have the ability to connect with others, even if we aren’t able to visit in person. If you and your loved one have chosen to not travel for the holidays, and your family is not coming in to visit, that doesn’t mean that you can’t connect with them over the holiday season! There are many different applications and programs to help you and your loved one get together during this very important season. As a matter of fact, virtual holiday connections may be more convenient because you can schedule them around when your loved one is feeling their best, and it doesn’t have to be on the specific day that everyone is celebrating.

Pick Up the Phone, Dear

Your love language may be texting, but your parents and grandparents grew up on letters written by hand, and phone calls that lasted for hours. This means that a phone conversation with them may be more meaningful than you think. If your loved one isn’t really into technology, then a good old-fashioned phone call may be your only option, or a great way to get them started with technology. There are some amazing easy-to-use smartphones out there.

The trick with phone calls is that many seniors prefer to not be a burden, so they won’t call you because they’ll imagine that you’re busier than they are. This means that you will want to initiate a phone call yourself, or even schedule a call weekly on a certain day. You will be surprised at how a 5 minute conversation can brighten your loved one’s day.

Texts and Emails

If your loved one isn’t averse to technology, and they feel comfortable with texting and emailing, then it can be a great way for extended family members to reach out during the holiday season. Give their number and email address to anyone who can send a quick message that will brighten their day. If you are a family caregiver, and your extended family isn’t close, you may want to consider sending out monthly newsletters to update friends, family, and community members on what’s happening in your loved one’s life.

Video Chats

Okay, we know that everyone is tired of video chats after the pandemic, but it remains the next-best thing to in-person interactions. Many seniors actually take to the technology like a duck to water, especially if they have a tablet or smartphone that allows them to do it easily. If you are only using the video feature for the holidays, an in-home caregiver can help your loved one get everything set up, but if you plan on implementing video-chats for more than just the holidays, you may want to consider teaching them how to use the platform you choose to use.

Calls every week through video chats are great ways for seniors to keep up with children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren, and everyone stays on schedule and on task. Video chats also give your loved one something to look forward to, so if you schedule one during the holidays, make sure you don’t miss it!

Social Media

Believe it or not, seniors are one of the fastest growing segments on social media. If you are on the platform, you can post updates, and your loved one can see them and comment at their leisure.

Old School Communication

Your loved one may absolutely love the idea of letters, and it can be a great way for the kiddos to get involved. Take the opportunity to stock up on stationary, envelopes, stamps, cards and more. Pass out the supplies to family members and surprise your loved one with a plethora of letters, cards, and “thinking of yous” during the holiday season! Children can draw pictures, and adults can include printed photos. There’s something very special about receiving handwritten letters in the mail each day during the holiday season, and it will let your loved one know just how special they are to you.

Special Delivery!

The holidays are a great time to send flowers, fruit bouquets, and chocolate covered strawberries! Sending them a special delivery shows them that you’re thinking about them even if they can’t be where you are. Another option is to get the family together to create a special ‘care package’ of goodies that you can send them through the mail. The beautiful thing about deliveries such as Door Dash, is that you can order food for your loved one too! Imagine how excited they’ll be to receive your thoughtful gift!

Bonding During the Holidays

If you can’t be physically with your loved one during the holidays, you have many options, but there’s nothing more important than peace of mind. At Homewatch CareGivers of Sterling we’re here for you. We can help you schedule virtual calls and help your loved one manage the technology they need to stay connected to their family far away. Our professional staff is always here to help, with a full range of in-home services to choose from! Contact us today to learn more about the options you and your loved one have during the holidays