Transitions With Jean Blog

Now is the time to do more!

March 20, 2020

Grandma and Grandpa need our help!

We all want to keep them safe, so their retirement communities are keeping them isolated: no visitors, no communal meals, no activities, even choir is canceled. Ugh! This is truly a recipe for loneliness.

It is time for all of us to step up.

What can we do to help? I have reached out to all my friends in the senior communities to ask for ideas.

Some seniors are very computer savvy. If they have an iPhone or a tablet or computer, call them and Skype or FaceTime. Get the kids involved. If you schedule it for the same time every day, they will then have something to look forward to.

Several of the communities that I talked to are working on setting up this ability for people who don’t know how to do it themselves.

Here are some more ideas:

Mail! Send them letters, packages. Have the kids do art while they are home from school and send them along with a note.

Go outside Grandma’s apartment window and call her. Wave.

Have the kids color pictures and mail them.

Send word search books, crossword puzzle books, puzzles. But don’t send them all at once; mail one each day.

Run errands for them. Get their groceries.

If you set up a time to call or Skype, set a schedule with your siblings so you spread out the contacts over the day.

Send flowers.

Make a family movie DVD and send it to the community to play for your loved one.

Ask if the staff will help your resident write responses if they can’t do it themselves.

One family member said she would go outside her mom’s window, just so her mom could see her. Sweet!

Do you remember at Christmas time, when you would adopt-a-family?  Contact a community and ask them for a person who is lonelier, then adopt-a-senior. Become pen-pals. Call them. Then, do all the above.

Send cards or possibly books Grandma can read with messages written inside the covers to offer encouragement.

Fill Grandpa’s birdfeeder.

One gal said: We got my mom the Echo Show. She doesn’t have to know anything about technology. We drop in on her and she can see us on the screen and we see her, then we sit down and chat with each other for a while.

In all your messages, stop talking about the bad news and look at the bright side of things. Let your message be a ray of sunshine.

The key to all this is, don’t just do it once. Don’t send just one letter and feel like you’ve done your share. Put it on your calendar and do it often.

Children have more time now. You have more time now. Let’s send some love!


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