If you have cared for or regularly visited an ageing loved one, you will know how much they value time spent with loved ones. However, if the COVID-19 pandemic taught us anything, it’s that online social gatherings and connection may not be exactly like the real thing, but it’s pretty darn close! If you’re missing your ageing family and friends and you’re wondering how you can support them from afar, here are our top 5 suggestions to help get those ideas started.
1. Book regular video chats
Not getting enough face-time? Why not set up a weekly video chat? Simply create a standing time that works for both time zones, and stick to it as best you can. Of course, as we know, life happens. This means that you may need to reschedule every now and then.
However, having a weekly call means that you will have dedicated time with the person (or the people) who you love. So, no matter what twists and turns your week has spat out, you’ll always have your loved one on the other side of the video call to share all of life’s ups and downs with to look forward to.
2. Send them care packages or deliveries
You may not physically be there, but your gifts can be! If a special celebration is coming up, like a birthday or an anniversary, you could surprise your loved one with flowers, chocolates, or… anything you think they would appreciate! For a more practical approach, you could schedule their online shopping for them or send them ready-made meals from a food delivery service.
3. Organise a home care service
All these ‘life admin’ tasks can be a lot for anyone, let alone an ageing person who may have mobility challenges, health issues and/or disabilities. Perhaps your loved one requires help with cooking, cleaning, or looking after the garden, or maybe something in the house needs fixing.
4. Play games online together
With so many online gaming sites and apps on offer, you’re bound to find an online game that’s friendly for all ages. Whether you’re challenging your loved one to an online game of Scrabble, UNO or something to do with numbers, this is a great way to stay in touch while keeping that competitive streak alive and well.
Not sure where to start? Consider both of your hobbies and find a game that speaks to them. For example, if you both enjoy drawing or painting art, you can choose a more creative game that allows you to draw. The limit does not exist!
5. Help them to book appointments or plan their journeys
While many of us will happily jump onto public transport, hop into the car or quickly book a rideshare service, for elderly people or those with disabilities, these journeys can be difficult to plan. This can lead to social isolation and in some cases, may even lead to people avoiding social activities that fall outside of their home.
To make things easier for your loved one, you can help them by taking charge of their appointments. This could mean calling the doctor’s office, a beautician, hairdresser, or even arranging a taxi or a transport service in advance.
Of course, you will need to keep in regular contact with your loved one to be totally on top of the services they require, and how often they may need it. (You could even schedule a call once a week just to discuss these arrangements, and what they need for the week or the month ahead).
By helping your loved one with these ‘life admin’ tasks, you are making a big difference to their everyday.
As many of us discovered during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns, loneliness is a universal feeling that can be combated through connection – and this includes online, remote socialisation. If you’re missing your ageing family members who feel worlds away, the best thing to do is pick up the phone and see how you can help. By simply checking in on your loved ones, you’re making a world of difference to their day. (Trust us!).
Hey there! If the time ever comes when your loved one needs help getting their affairs in order, we can help them dot those i’s and cross the t’s. They can even prepay their funeral in advance so that no one is left making arrangements when the situation arises. Call the friendly Willed team on 1300 945 533 today to get started.