What might have seemed like a temporary change in our culture as social distancing took place, now appears to be here to stay for a while longer. Until we are able to truly live life like we used to, it’s important to be proactive about finding creative ways to stay connected with loved ones, especially our senior community. Take a look at these ideas for staying in touch and a part of each other’s lives, even with social distancing in place.
Create a Shared Journal
Google Docs is an easy way to create a shared journal electronically. If your aging loved one has a computer or tablet, they can easily navigate to the shared Google Doc and contribute to a daily journal. Take turns writing about your day, how you’re feeling, and any special memories. Best of all, this journal can live on well past COVID-19 and something you can look back on and read again and again.
Start a Book Club
Find a book you and your aging loved one will enjoy reading and do it together. A lot of great books can be found digitally now, so all you need is a device to instantly give you access to a wide array of new content. Set a reading schedule and then touch base weekly to discuss what you’ve read. The virtual book club is a great idea because it ensures you always have something to talk about!
Share Dinner Together Virtually
Doing things virtually is the name of the game as of late. Use Zoom, Facetime, or any other video conferencing tool to share a meal together virtually. You don’t have to have a planned menu, simply make what you have and enjoy it with a loved one who is miles away. Especially for our senior population, meal time can be among the loneliest. Ensure they have a smiling face to share their dinner with by coordinating a virtual meal.
Record a Bedtime Story or Song
There is no age limit on this one! Everyone enjoys a bedtime story or song, especially from a loved one. Ask your parents, grandparents, or even great grandparents to record themselves reading their favorite story or singing a song. Share this with your children, and then return the favor. These recordings will become precious memories you can enjoy well into the future.
Send a Care Package
Snail mail is still up and running and everyone loves to get something in their mailbox. Put together a care package of items your aging loved one needs or would appreciate. The easiest and safest way to do this is to shop online and have the package delivered directly to their door. Make it a mix of useful items as well as small luxuries that will brighten their day. Be sure to include a note!
Create a Group Chat
Include your aging loved one in a group chat with other family members. This allows you to easily check in daily and on your own time. Here you can also share pictures, links to interesting content, and videos. A group chat is a great way to feel connected even if you can’t be together in person.
Do you have another creative idea to share to stay connected while staying home? We’d love to hear it! Leave it in the comments below.