Supporting Elderly Loved Ones through Long Distance

    Sometimes it can feel challenging to support our older family members from a distance. Human connection is so important and even though you cannot physically spend time with them, you can still find creative ways to show love and support. Here are some great ideas to show support throughout the year

    Video Chats

    Technology can play such a vital role in bringing us together at any point in time. FaceTime and Skype allow us to video chat with a loved one. You can even video chat with a group of multiple family members with Zoom or Houseparty. This allows family members all over the country to get together virtually.

    Consider setting up a time to video chat each day or a few times
    per week so that they have frequent interaction with loved ones. Spontaneous
    video chats are always fun too if your loved one is tech savvy enough.

    Handwritten Notes, Cards and Drawings

    Hand-written notes are often considered outdated but are such a thoughtful gesture to show your love. Writing your loved one a note to explain how much they mean to you or list all the things you are excited to do together once you can get together next. Have your children draw something to add to the card as well and consider adding an updated photo of the family.

    Indoor Activities and Virtual

    Offer ideas for activities such as reading, puzzles, card games. Some may be surprised what activities they may find in their cupboards collecting dust! If they don’t have their own stock, consider an inexpensive way to send them an inexpensive book or board game.

    If they’re tech savvy enough, consider introducing them to online
    games or apps that you can play together – such as Words with Friends (electronic
    scrabble) or Chess with Friends.  

    Even setting them up with a passive SnapChat account so they can
    see “in the life” videos of you and your family throughout the day.

    Encourage the Outdoors

    It is important for everyone to get
    fresh air
    when they can and however they can. As long as their backyard, front
    porch, balcony or open window can keep them safely outside 6ft from any
    passer-byer, than this should be encouraged daily at the very least. Research
    has shown a strong connection between time spent in nature and
    reduced stress, anxiety, and depression.

    While it may be difficult or a
    little uncomfortable, remember that distancing yourself from your older loved
    one during this time is an act of love. This will pass and there will be a near
    future where direct social interaction is safe again. Hang in there and be
    strong for your loved one.

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