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5 Tips To Stay In Touch With Quarantined Seniors

June 22, 2020

Whether your loved one is living in a Senior Community, or just sheltering-in-place at home, it’s extremely difficult to stay in touch during this COVID era. The Senior population is at the highest risk for Coronavirus, but we’re also seeing that they have been the most negatively effected by the isolation that quarantine brings.

Staying in consistent contact with our loved ones is critical to helping them with their mental and even physical health. Here are some tips on ways to stay in touch during this time:

1. Set a Timer: I think we can all agree that days, and even weeks are a blur right now for everyone. But with that said, checking in regularly with a phone call or video chat boosts their spirits and also allows for you to get a more accurate pulse on their mental and physical status. Whether it be daily, weekly or bi-weekly, set a timer on your phone for a time of day that you are usually free and make a re-occurring reminder to check in!

2. Video Chat: Seeing our loved one is always more impactful than just hearing their voice. This is especially important for Seniors with cognitive decline or dementia. There are video chat options for even the most UN-tech savvy person. Here are some of our faves:

  • Facebook Portal: this comes with a smart display screen or can be integrated into a smart TV. Plus, it integrates with Alexa so Seniors can use voice commands to call loved ones.
  • Amazon Echo Show: This also integrates with tablets and uses Alexa’s voice commands to place a video call (“Alexa, call Joe.”) or even share a recipe, check the weather or play music.
  • Facetime: Even if your Senior doesn’t have a smartphone, getting an iPad mini and showing them how to tap on Facetime to answer a call makes video chatting easy!
  • Ask a Caregiver: If your loved one is in a Senior Community, call the front desk and ask to have a Caregiver on staff coordinate a video call with your loved one. All communities are used to facilitating this by now and probably have tablets they can borrow!

3. Gain a Pen Pal: Getting a hand written note in the mail is nostalgic for Seniors who remember back to the years when that was the norm! Include a piece of art from one of your kids or maybe a printed photo or two so that they have something to reference and display. As an added bonus, this is a great activity if you have your children at home this summer! #winwin

4. Window Visits: Many Senior Communities are creating unique window visiting areas where loved ones can sit and have a conversation or lunch. This also works if you go and visit a Senior at their home. Even if they sit on the porch or screened in lanai while you sit 6-10 feet away, the personalized visit means so much!

5. Care Packages: Putting a care package together allows you to be creative and create a special experience for your loved one. Include a favorite snack or two that remind them of a memory with you, a framed picture of you together, and maybe a fun activity like an adult coloring book or a favorite magazine to give them some variety.

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