One of my favourite memories since starting MySenior Subscriptions was on one of the days we delivered donations. On this particular day, I was waiting in the lobby of a long-term care home and I got to witness a really special moment between family.
A resident of the long-term care home was having a visit with her grandchildren. The three of them were playing a card game called Scoppa. The game was exciting. I could hear her grandchildren laughing because their grandmother was so competitive. I watched for 10 minutes, and I'm sure the game went on for the rest of the morning.
Spending quality time like that with family isn't always possible, especially while our communities deal with COVID.
So, I started researching some ways we can use our time to add quality to our senior's lives.
Simply calling your loved one - yes calling! - can brighten their day.
Victoria Tyryshkin, Dementia Specialist at Seniors At Home’s Center for Dementia Care, says that for many older adults connecting over the phone is a great way to connect.
“Most of my clients prefer to chat on the phone—even though many have been exposed to newer technology, the phone is what they are most comfortable using,” says Victoria.
To add to this, Victoria says you can play music or sing over the phone. Playing a few intellectual games is a great idea too! A couple of examples are:
1. "What's your favourite" - Ask your grandparent what their favourite animals are, vacation spots, snacks, or songs. This can even lead to stories from their past, which they love to share.
2. "Alphabet" - Start with a letter and ask your senior what words start with that letter, you can add different topics, places or even get specific with animals or food groups.
Dr. Carolyn Boulos wrote on her blog that some deliveries, including hand-written cards, flowers or a personalized gift (a MySenior box perhaps), would be really great too.
"Send flowers or deliver food: Even though our lives are more virtual nowadays, people do appreciate tangible items at this time. Sending flowers or delivering food in a safe manner can make a big difference to someone, especially if they are isolated and alone during the holidays."
She also mentions some really great ways to plan virtual calls with grandparents as well. If you know your senior's care giver, it could be easier than you think to have them set up a call for you. That way, you can have them on a call and involve them in fun activities. Some pre-planned virtual call activities can include:
- Cooking or planning recipes together (maybe pre-planning a family recipe).
- Trivia, dancing, or karaoke.
I hope these ideas give you some inspiration. We can't always be together, but there are still ways to ensure your time can create valuable care moments for your loved one.
Do you have an idea? Please share it below in the comments, I would love to hear any ideas you have too.