Families across the globe are facing new challenges when it comes to staying connected to the ones they love. This is especially true for families who rely on caregivers, individual professionals and facilities, outside the family to provide care to at-risk individuals.
However, while it’s certainly more of a challenge, it’s also more important than ever to find ways to check in and reassure those with memory impairment that they are safe, cared for and loved. Social isolation can cause additional issues, decrease quality of life and cause setbacks where progress has been made.
Here several ways to do this in lieu in-person meetings.
Care packages: Put together a personalized care package of your loved one’s favorite things to create a bright spot in their day. This could include snacks, greeting cards, a stuffed animal or activities to keep them entertained like a painting set.
Record a video greeting: Record an extra special greeting that expresses how much you love and miss them, sharing songs or dances that you know will bring them comfort. Seeing a familiar face, even on screen, can go far in reassuring someone they are loved during uncertain times.
Plan a video call: Videos calls allow family members to look forward to a scheduled time and date to connect. Coordinate a time with their care team to check in for some much-needed two-way connection.
Window waves: Stop by for a socially-distanced greeting with a window between you for safety. Plan to call your family member while you’re outside so they can still hear your voice. You’ll want to check with individual facilities to be sure that this is allowed first.
Family Zoom gathering: Depending on how large your family is, a group Zoom session is a fun a way to check in with one another. Keep the invitees to a minimum to ensure the meeting isn’t too chaotic or hard to participate in, as you don’t want to cause overstimulation.
Snail mail: Technology is wonderful, but traditional snail mail is always a good option to stay connected with your loved one. Holding something in your hands has an entirely different feel to it. Have family members take the time to decorate greeting cards and letters and send them all together in a package that is sure to bring a smile.
A caring nature can flourish even in the most challenging times. I would love to hear some of the ways you’re taking a loving approach to care from afar. Join our Facebook group to share and connect with our Dementia Aware community.