Staying Connected During a Pandemic
Seniorlink Center for Clinical Excellence
Staying Connected During a Pandemic
Since March our world has looked a little different. We have all felt new challenges and changes during the coronavirus pandemic. We have been encouraged to stay home and practice social distancing.
Because of the recommendation to socially distance, we are often times finding ourselves isolated at home away from others who we care about. Perhaps we haven’t been able to see our family and friends for a while, and we are used to getting together every few weeks. Or, maybe we haven’t been able to celebrate special occasions like birthdays and holidays the way we used to. This can be very difficult if you are used to spending time with others who live outside the home on a regular basis.
Being without our normal supports and routines can lead to feelings of anxiety and depression and can cause us to withdraw from our normal relationships. It is more important than ever to stay connected, even when we are apart.
Staying connected doesn’t means stopping social distancing to spend quality time with our loved ones. It means we have to find new, safer ways to be “together” while slowing the spread of COVID-19.
Creative Ways to Stay Connected
It is true that during the pandemic we have had to change the way we socialize and gather with those we care about.
When the weather is nice, this means meeting up for a picnic in the park, sitting in lawn chairs at least 6 feet apart, and bringing our own food and utensils. This also means we should be wearing a mask to prevent the spread of any germs. It can also mean driving by a loved one’s house just to talk in the driveway at a distance.
When the weather doesn’t allow outdoor gatherings, it’s harder to find ways to get together. One of the best ways to connect with those you love is through technology.
Technology has become an incredible tool to stay connected while keeping your distance. There are several wonderful platforms that allow you to do this free of cost. Some of thees platforms include:
❖ Google Meets
❖ Microsoft Teams
Connecting on these platforms allows you to video chat with those who are in the same “meeting” as you.
In the meetings it is easy to catch up and even play games. One of our favorite games to play virtually with family is what we call the alphabet game. To play you start with the letter A and each person writes down a food, a person, and a place that starts with that letter, for example Apple, Anne Franke, and Arizona. During the game you want to be unique, because if you survive all three words with no matches, you get a point. Whoever has the most points, wins at the end of the game. This is just one example of a fun activity to pass your time together and get a few laughs. You can also try games like guess that drawing or hangman. If you need help getting connected with these apps, reach out to your family/friends for help, especially those who are proficient with technology. You would be surprised at how much your 11 year old niece knows about downloading apps. Your care team would also be more than willing to try and walk you through getting a meeting set up.
Another great way to stay connected is by sending cards, letters, or drawings in the mail. My daughters grandparents really love getting and sending cards and colored pictures in the mail. It always brings a smile to their face to know their family is thinking of them when they can’t come for a visit. It also gives them something to look forward to when checking their mailbox. It doesn’t have to be a masterpiece or long written note. It can simply be a handwritten note on a piece of scrap paper saying, “I love and miss you.”
Keep it Simple and Have Fun
Staying connected doesn’t have to be complicated during the pandemic. It can be simple, silly, and fun. Although we all want to hug and kiss those we love and miss, we also want to do our part to protect ourselves and those we care about.
Thanks for doing your part to socially distance and have fun finding new ways to connect with those you care about.