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
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Hand-written notes are often considered outdated but are such a thoughtful gesture to show your love.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 Games
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.