The Devil and Mrs. Jones, Part 8: Holidays and COVID-19

Written by Megan Benner Senecal. Posted in Taking Care of Your Life

It is always important to reconnect with your loved ones during the holidays, no matter what holiday you celebrate. This is especially true when we think about our loved ones in long-term-care settings or who cannot travel outside of their home.

As we all know, this year has thrown its share of curveballs, including the complications posed by COVID-19 and restricting access to long-term-care residents. Additionally, even if the elders in your family aren’t in long-term care, it is still likely that they are doing what they can to stay safe and socially distanced. As such, this year’s celebrations will look vastly different from what we all have become accustomed to.

Now we must come up with new and inventive ways to connect with our loved ones, make sure they feel loved, and assure them that they are still in our thoughts. One example could be a “card-shower” from families and friends with cards separately sent to your loved one who is in long-term care or just playing it safe. Having multiple cards from multiple loved ones arrive sporadically can be fun and makes going to the mailbox exciting again!

You may also try to do a virtual visit or FaceTime with your loved one. If they are in a facility, you can be assisted by the facility staff to make the connection. This is a great way to have real-time face-to-face interaction with safety for everyone in place.

Mrs. Jones will be doing just that! She will miss hugging her children and grandchildren greatly, but her family is planning on showering her with cards and having FaceTime calls so that they can celebrate and remind her that even though they can’t be physically together, they are still thinking of her and missing her.

If you have questions about how you can connect with your family in a long-term-care facility or in general, give the Ombudsman a call so we can talk more in depth. The Ombudsman Program can be reached at 419-259-2891.

Happy holidays and stay safe!

Megan Benner Senecal is a member of the Ombudsman Office.