Even in this challenging time of separation from your loved ones, your connection to them remains vitally important. We hope the following suggestions will help you to maintain a close connection with your loved ones until you are able to once again visit in person.
Check in with your loved ones often.
Virtual communication can help you and your loved ones feel less lonely and isolated. Based on your loved one’s ability to communicate in various ways, consider the following options:
- Text messages
- Video chat
Don't forget letters.
Letter writing is a lost art form that many older adults really appreciate. It might not occur to younger generations to sit down and write a letter to a loved one, so you many need to encourage participation from everyone in the family. (Be sure to spray your letters and envelopes with a disinfecting spray like Lysol and seal your envelopes with a moist paper towel instead of your tongue.)
Structure your phone contacts or virtual visits with some activities.
You might trying engaging your loved ones in activities during your contacts, such as playing a trivia game, singing songs together, or asking them to recount pleasant memories from the past. For those who have a history of trauma, it is the best to avoid questions that trigger painful memories and focus on happier chapters in their lives.
Convey a sense of calm.
When you contact your loved one at Lieberman Center or Weinberg Community, please do your best to put aside your own anxieties during these times, which we realize may be significant. It is important to express a sense of optimism about the future, provide reassurance and convey a sense of calm. Your loved one will respond to your tone of voice and the messages you are conveying.
At the same time, it is important to recognize that some degree of sadness, anxiety and distress is very common during this period for all of us, including your loved ones. If they express difficult emotions, it is certainly appropriate to acknowledge these feelings and validate that this is difficult and challenging. Rest assured that we are doing everything in our power to provide daily reassurance, stimulating activities, special menus and the overall excellent care you can expect from CJE.
Take care of your own emotional health.
We are keenly aware of the distress that not being able to see loved ones in person is causing. It is common to experience a wide range of emotions, including sadness, guilt, anger and anxiety as one copes with a separation from their loved one during the outbreak of COVID-19.
We recognize that many of you are likely experiencing other stressors related to work and parenting responsibilities.
The following information from the CDC may be helpful in managing the unprecedented stress of this time: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/managing-st….
If you need to speak with someone, reconnect, and talk about your concerns, there are several options available.
For additional support and information, please contact CJE SeniorLine 773.508.1000.