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Staying Close to Loved Ones in Assisted Living

childs artwork for family in assisted living

The Covid-19 pandemic has been very hard on the relationships between people and their elderly relatives. Many people in assisted living facilities have had almost no contact with their loved ones.

While phone calls and video chats are nice, they aren’t available to all seniors. In addition, it’s sometimes nice to have something tangible to hold on to during a tough time.

As a result, there’s been a real resurgence in card-making and care packages.

Using Card-Making to Make Communication Stronger

Many people think of cards as things that are sent only on birthdays and holidays. Yet it doesn’t have to be this way.

Take home a stack of blank cards and keep them close. Write whatever messages or daily reflections you come up with. Tape or glue recent family photos to your cards, or slide them inside the card and envelope. Discuss family updates or even just the events of the day.

Your senior wants to know. Remember, people in assisted living lockdowns don’t necessarily have much going on in their lives. This can even limit their ability to maintain a phone conversation because they won’t have much to talk about.

child creating artwork for assisted living residentThe physical reminder of connection can make isolation and separation easier. They also make calls easier. You’ll be able to discuss the topics on your cards and will remember them better. Often the events of a single day fade in the onslaught of a busy week. Your elderly loved one will have all those little stories right in front of them, though, and can ask you about them.

It’s a talking point for you both, and it can really help.

Note this is a tradition that children and grandchildren can really take advantage of. They can add stickers, draw pictures, write little notes to show the recipient is being thought of, and otherwise participate in the process.

Tip: use cheery, colorful card stock. Vision is dwindling for many seniors and bright, colorful cards can make the messages easy to send.

Putting Together a Great Care Package

assisted living resident with phoneThe residents of assisted living facilities used to get visitors on holidays to have meals together. This is no longer happening. So consider putting together an old-fashioned care package!

Grab a pretty box. Add pretty tissue paper. Send a baked good. Add some crafts that the children made. Add puzzle books like Sudoku puzzles or crossword puzzles. Add a nice new book to read and perhaps some more pictures or magnets. If you can think of any other little thing that your senior will love it’s a good time to add that, as well.

This Resurgence Is Here to Stay

While the pandemic may be over by next year this is a tradition that seems like it’s going to have some sticking power. The pandemic has definitely taught us all about the importance of family ties, and about the ways that separation can harm us all.

Let’s face it, receiving a tangible reminder and love and care is important to seniors no matter what is going on in the outside world.

So stock up on supplies, and remember to keep your senior firmly in mind even after the pandemic comes to a close. Our lives can get busy. Theirs can get lonely. This tradition is a wonderful way to keep in touch.

Stop by Paper Plus for all your card-making and care package supplies! We have boxes, tissue paper, card stocks, envelopes, stickers, glitter, care package gifts, and more. We’re still following Covid protocols in our store, so don’t be afraid to pop by and see us. 

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