The holidays just won't be the same this year. While we're pondering how to social distance that big meal or share gifts without sharing contagion, we cannot forget our loved ones in senior living care facilities. Here are five simple ways to show those special people that you are thinking of them during this season.
1. Create a small booklet with favorite pictures of holidays past. Write brief notes about of special gifts and family stories. Don't forget the fun tales of those hand-knit sweaters or antics of children or family pets. Decorate with colorful stickers. (Make sure the booklet is lightweight and manageable for senior hands.)
2. Schedule a phone call to sing a holiday song or recite favorite scripture or poem with your loved one and encourage them to sing along! Music and verse can be healing.
3. Send a holiday bouquet. Bright flowers and greenery are a perfect way to remind someone that you are thinking of them even though you can't be together. (Remember that the arrangement will probably stay in one room, so be mindful of allergies.)
4. Don't forget that your loved one may be especially sad this holiday season. Being isolated from family, going without hugs, and spending extra time alone can cause "blue" holidays. Acknowledge those sad feelings and remind your loved one that you share them.
5. Make a video of your whole family (don't forget the pets!) or schedule an online chat with your loved one in the senior living facility. If your special person isn't computer savvy, check with staff. Aides, who know how much residents are missing personal contact, are often willing to help with technology.
Ask your whole family to put their heads together to find special ways of expressing love in these unique times. While we can't experience many of our traditions this year, we can form new memories and celebrate in new ways.
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