Things to consider in the era of COVID-19
This is a strange and challenging time for many of us in the wake of the current COVID19 pandemic, but it is particularly rough for those who have family and loved ones in assisted living facilities. Depending on the location of the facility and overall health of the residents and staff, some facilities are imposing much more stringent requirements for anyone visiting and some aren’t allowing visitors at all. This is of course, detrimental to the residents and those who love them. This begs the question, what can we do to remain connected to our loved ones in assisted living? How can we remain in contact and let them know that they are thought of, missed and loved and how can we check in on them to be sure they are safe during these unprecedented times?
Turn to technology. This can be daunting for our seniors who have perhaps lived through the changing times and seen technology make wild leaps throughout their lifetime. We have to remember, some of our older citizens can remember times of rotary phones and black and white televisions and the thought of electronic mail or video chat may seem unobtainable. There are resources out there that are engineered with these particular individuals in mind, like the “Grandpad,” which is a tablet specifically made with large buttons and simple access to video chat with family members.
An iPhone with the Facetime feature may be a good option for those who can handle the navigation of such a device and for our technology-savvy seniors, one could always use a video chat service like, Zoom or even Facebook Messenger, which allows typed and audio/video calls. Some other options might be applications like Whatsapp or using other devices like the Amazon Alexa, which has features that are activated by voice, for easy use by those whose vision may not be stellar.
Let’s not forget about good, old-fashioned, tried and true “snail mail.” The seniors that I have been close with have always been so appreciative of receiving a letter in the mail. To some, no technological message, even if instant, is anywhere near as exciting as receiving a letter in the mail, handwritten by a loved one. Perhaps including photographs or magazine clippings or small items that remind them of you would make their day all that more special. I look to the memory of being a young soldier in Basic Training and remember the sheer excitement of receiving a letter from home. The letter itself is uplifting, but the idea that someone you care about taking the time to think of you and making the effort to make you feel special was enough to light up your day, and I think this is true for so many of those in our older generation.
No matter which vehicle you use, it is so important in these trying times to maintain contact with loved ones in assisted living, even those with dementia, especially if they had become accustomed to regular visits. The loneliness, isolation and depression associated with quarantine can be so debilitating. If we all do our part to reach out to those in assisted living and let them know they are still with us, remembered and loved, perhaps we can all get through this together and make a difference in the life of a senior during these most difficult times.
At Morneau Law, we love our senior community and make accommodations so that they have access to the legal assistance they need. This includes telephone and video conferences, outdoor picnic table and even car-side document signings. If your loved one (or you) is in need of estate planning, family law or probate legal assistance, give us a call today at 943-5647 and we will see how we can safely and effectively accommodate your or their legal needs.