Be Social, Stay Distant – 5 Tips for Grandparents

Older adults are being impacted by the coronavirus. Social distancing makes it difficult for seniors and grandchildren to stay connected. While we may be missing our loved ones, safety is key during these uncertain times.

Do you know a grandparent who is trying to find ways to stay safe and healthy during the pandemic? Here are some tips to help you avoid exposure to the virus while staying engaged with grandchildren.

5 Tips for grandparents during the pandemic

Having to stay distanced from grandchildren can be stressful and confusing. Here are some ways families can stay safe, healthy, and connected.

Talk often

Just because you can’t be in the same space, doesn’t mean you cannot talk regularly. Speak with your grandchildren often over the phone or video chat. You could talk about something positive that happened that day, what meals you ate, or something funny you experienced.

Share feelings

Being apart from one another can be difficult. And, these uncertain times can be scary. Encourage your grandchildren to speak openly about how they are feeling. Let them know that it is alright to miss you. In turn, express your feelings to them.

Let them know that it’s temporary

At this point in the year, it feels like we have been social distancing for a long time. But it’s important to remember that this is all temporary. Remind your grandchildren that you will be able to spend time together, visit, and hug once the spread of the virus has slowed and there is no longer a threat.

Be honest

The coronavirus can be dangerous to older adults. You need to be honest about the facts and take proper precautions to avoid exposure to the virus.

It’s also important to be honest with your grandchildren about why you must stay distanced. We are experiencing a time that is new to us all, but it can be especially confusing to children. Help your grandchildren understand that the virus is more likely to spread if you are all together in the same place. By staying separate, you are protecting each other from getting sick.

Plan a virtual playdate

You can continue to share stories and make memories even when you are apart. Plan an activity that you can all do from your homes over a video chat.

For example, you could paint, read a book out loud, or bake cookies (with the help of a parent or guardian). Work together as a family to plan the best virtual play dates for your situation.

Staying connected with grandchildren through the pandemic is not easy. But with a little planning and creativity, you can stay safe while engaging with grandchildren and make new memories.

Remember that you are never alone. Don’t be afraid to reach out to others if you are feeling lonely, sad, or anxious. Look forward to getting through these uncertain times and being together again.

Are you a senior who could use some extra help through the pandemic? VANTAGE Aging promotes positive aging through a variety of services including Meals On Wheels home-delivered meals, homecare and house cleaning, a volunteer telephone call-in program, and paid training for job re-entry.

Call us today at 330-253-4597 or explore our programs online.

*The information in this article is intended solely to provide general information on matters of interest for the personal use of the reader, who accepts full responsibility for its use. This article should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional legal, medical, or other competent advisors.

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