The coronavirus pandemic is in full effect all over the globe, leaving our elderly community most at risk during this time of uncertainty. Hard times are when people need their loved ones the most, and not being allowed to have visitors may be taking a toll on many residents in nursing homes all over the country. Even though visitors are not allowed to physically enter the building, this doesn’t mean that they have to stop connecting with their loved ones all together. There are many ways to stay engaged and present in your loved one’s life, even during times of social distancing.

1. Schedule virtual visits with your loved one. There are many free communication tools available to anyone who has access to a computer or smartphone. From Skype to FaceTime, there are many ways to interact with your loved one without physically going to visit them. If your loved one does not have access to a smartphone or a computer, a simple phone call to check in on them will more than likely help life their spirits.

2. Play your favorite online game together. Many websites allow users to play their favorite card games or boardgames virtually. On, you can play a variety of card and board games with others or on your own. You can schedule a time once a day, or once a week, to hop online and play a game with your loved one.

3. Create your own book club. You may be thinking, what if my loved one does not have access to the internet? Another way you can stay connected is by reading the same book, and scheduling time once every few days to have a phone call to talk about the book you are reading. This is a good way for the both of you to spend your time while social distancing, and it also gives you something to connect on. This isn’t limited to just you and your loved one, have your whole family join in!

4. Communicate the old-fashioned way. When all else fails, write your loved one a letter. If they don’t have access to a smartphone or computer, a letter or card will help lift their spirits.When they are feeling down or missing you, they can always look back on the letters and cards you sent to be reminded that this too shall pass.

COVID-19 (coronavirus) has brought many challenges to the forefront of lives all over the world in the last few months, especially those in the elderly community who are considered most at risk. This virus is strong, but it is not stronger than the love we share with our family and friends. There are some challenging days ahead, but they will soon pass and life will be back to the way it once was. Until then, the steps above can help you and your loved one cope until you are reunited.

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