Boy, has it been a challenging year! No one has felt it more than our elder loved ones. Alone, and maybe frightened, they have felt the brunt of this pandemic. This holiday, when we visit with our loved ones in independent or assisted living facilities, let’s remember a few things:
Mom or Dad haven’t seen the world as we have for the past nine months. They have weathered this storm safe in their home with added precautions. They might not be ready to venture out. Take it slow with them.
While we might be visiting with children and grandchildren, they have not. Again, take it slow. They might be used to quiet and low activity. Bring children in slowly and remind them not to hug Grams or Gramps.
Meals might be a challenge. We might be tempted to bake for them or bring them a hot, ham dinner. Check with your facility, ask for their recommendations. You might not be allowed to share the meal with Grandma this year. Sometimes, meals are the highlight of their days, especially when it is a special season. Prepare yourself for her reactions, smile with your eyes, past your mask. She'll feel your love shine through.
Whatever your circumstances, a visit is always a good idea. Your loved one will feed off your energy, so be happy, smile, wear something silly, and make the best of the time you can carve out in whatever environment that happens to be. Also, remember the caregivers in the facility. They’ve been through something they were never trained for, show them your appreciation and kindness.
We wish you and yours a warm and wonderful holiday!