This beautiful photo was sent to me by Karen Pass, Exec. Director at Peachtree Villa Memory Care in Suwanee, GA. https://www.peachtreevillaatsuwanee.com/ It shows so much love in this time of required distance. Normally, in stressful times, we move towards each other, spend more time together, offer bigger hugs, more physical support. Instead, we must be separated and show our love and support from a distance.
This family’s desire to be connected to their family member, even while physically distant, is a great example of the creative ways we can connect. Especially for older adults living in care communities, separation from their families can be disheartening. Families are also concerned – how is their loved one coping while confined inside with no visitors?
Staff is working heroically to continue to provide good care to their residents and also support family connections. Technology can be our best friend in this time – Zoom, FaceTime, Skype are so useful. Families are also sending cards and letters. Some assisted living communities are celebrating the arrival of every new letter and announcing it with a raucous “You’ve got mail!” pronouncement and reading the letter aloud to the resident, then clapping and congratulating the recipient! Assisting the residents to also send cards out to their families, often accompanied by a photo of the resident enjoying a special moment of his day, helps keep the connections flowing each way.
We’ll look back on this extraordinary time, and we’ll wiser and stronger. Hopefully we’ll also be even more connected to those we love.
Anne Ellett, N.P., M.S.N.