Connecting Creatively With Our Seniors
I have the honor of going into many of our Senior Living Communities and serving the most fragile of residents and their families.
My mom, Miss Les taught me from a very young age to honor our seniors by her own example as a Charge Nurse at Nursing home for 25 years. I learned from watching her, listening to her stories and seeing the Joy she experienced daily in serving her patients.
Today, the restrictions put in place to protect our seniors from COVID-19 exposure has limited how we can connect with loved ones but has not stopped our creative abilities.
What an awesome opportunity to reach out to your local Nursing Homes and Assisted Livings to provide a little joy and a touch of life from the outside looking in for their residents. Contact one near you and ask if you can drop cards off from friends in the community.
Anyone can do this and it could be a great Homeschool Art project to draw and color pictures for the seniors. Or if your little ones are working on their ‘handwriting’ skills . . . Note Cards and simple notes ‘To Someone Special’ stating you are thinking of them. Just remember to not include contact information and use first names only.
A quick trip to Dollar Tree and the purchase of some of the following items would be a welcomed treat for many communities:
- Word Search Books, Crossword Puzzle Books,
- Jigsaw puzzles (48 pieces to 500 pieces) – just make sure they are ‘age appropriate’.
- Note Card packs and a pen (so the seniors can send cards to their loved ones)
- Games – Cards – Adult Coloring Books with color pencils and pens
You will want to package in individual clear goodie bags with a bow and a sweet note ‘To Someone Special’
Families have asked me about their loved ones in Memory Care Communities. The one conversation that broke my heart last week was the daughter who looked me in the eyes and said ‘She won’t know who I am when they finally open the doors for me to visit again.’
While the memory continues to fade there are creative ways to keep your loved one connected from afar there are still ways to connect and keep you in their thoughts.
- Send simple cards with one liners ‘Love you Mom’ – your son David
- Send a Framed Picture of you and your loved one (I would suggest not to use a glass but a plastic cover)
- Coordinate with the Memory Care Community to see and talk with your loved one at the glass door or window (as long as this will not agitate them and cause them to want to get out the door to you – this is a common concern).
Some communities have the new ITouch systems that allow for Facebook Live or Skyped contact. Schedule a face to face with your loved one using these technologies.
The important thing is to honor our seniors during this time and stay connected.