What can you do if your loved one lives in a nursing home during the coronavirus pandemic?
1. Call your loved one in the nursing home daily during coronavirus and check in on them (assuming they can answer the telephone).
Focus on engaging them in conversation other than COVID-19. You may need to remind them why you are not visiting and the isolation recommendations the government has made. Some conversation starters we recommend:
- Did you have any dreams last night? What were they about?
- What has been your most significant historical experience in your life?
- Do you have any recommendations for managing anxiety?
- What was your favorite year of life and why?
- Of all the years you have lived, what has been your biggest struggle?
- Of all the years you have lived, what has been your biggest accomplishment?
- What do you miss most about being young?
- What do you love most about being older?
- As a country, what year or experience do you think was the most significant and why?
- What recommendations do you have for me and my life?
- What is your favorite movie? What is your favorite book?
2. Decide on and assign one family member to consult with the facility staff.
The assigned person should set an appointment for the call and have a prepared list of questions (these could be developed by the family in advance). Once the call is complete, the assigned person can email or create a telephone conference to share with the interested family members. **Remember to KISS – Keep it Simple and Short
First, take time to thank the caregivers for their commitment to taking care of the ill elderly and especially your loved one. A little gratitude goes a long way, especially in stressful times.
3. Send daily notes of encouragement to your loved one in the nursing home during the coronavirus (and anytime!).
Also, consider sending a weekly thank you note to the team of folks taking care of your loved one.
Taking time and thinking through your actions will help you make them more meaningful. We often do not have time or a pause to think about the difference we can make in the lives of others. Many of us now have more time on our hands, and an opportunity to focus on what is important.
If you would like to have a consultation with a care manager, we are happy to meet with you via telephone or FaceTime. We are typically sought after by families in crisis, we are adept at helping you through these times. Contact us here or call 727-447-5845 or 813-333-5020.