As Phase 2 of recovery continues in Florida under the direction of Governor DeSantis, visits to nursing homes and other long-term care facilities continue to be prohibited. Those 65 years of age or older and those with underlying health issues are particularly vulnerable to developing more serious complications of COVID-19, so it’s essential that they be shielded from the spread of this deadly disease.
While the lockdown measures for nursing homes and long-term care facilities protect our most vulnerable, the isolation for residents and their families can create an emotional burden. Furthermore, many of our elderly loved ones may experience dementia or other memory issues that make it difficult for them to understand the situation.
Even though you miss your loved ones in long-term care and you may be worried about their feelings of isolation, keep a positive attitude and take any of these steps to maintain communication.
Write a letter or create a care package.
A letter from adult children or grandchildren can give your loved ones something to read, hold, and display. Plus, they can come back to it again whenever they want. Give their address to other loved ones and encourage them to send frequent letters.
Consider sending in photos, drawings, and their favorite snack to put a smile on their face! Just be sure to clean and sanitize everything you put in the package.
Schedule regular phone calls.
Routine phone calls can give someone in a long-term care facility a chance to look forward to something. Decide certain days of the week and times that will work for both of you. And remember to keep things positive during phone calls.
Use FaceTime or another video chat.
While internet chat isn’t for everyone, some of our elderly loved ones and those in long-term care prefer to use a video chat tool to stay in contact. Depending on what technology they can access and how familiar they are with it, they may benefit from using FaceTime, WhatsApp, Skype, or Zoom.
Send them a digital picture frame.
Digital picture frames connect to Wi-Fi and display photos that can be sent from afar. While the initial cost of such a frame is higher than a traditional one, this is a great way to instantly send photos to your loved one in a safe manner.
Since COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Florida, we may remain in Phase 2 for a while. Following these tips for communicating with your loved one in long-term care will bring comfort to you and your loved one in the meantime.
Info about visits to long-term care facilities on page 3: