COVID-19 has brought seemingly endless challenges, including how to connect with loved ones in nursing homes. Since COVID-19 is spread so easily and rapidly, most nursing home facilities are not allowing residents to have in-person visitors.
Not only is this heart-wrenching for everyone involved, it also makes it much more difficult to identify nursing home abuse and neglect.
Here are five ways you can connect with your loved one in a nursing home during COVID-19:
#1 - Phone Calls
Phone calls are a great way to stay in touch. If your loved one requires assistance with the phone, most nursing home staff members are willing to help.
#2 - Window Visits
Window visits are becoming a common way to visit loved ones in nursing home facilities. This can be a challenge to get used to, but it does allow you to see your loved one face-to-face. Window visits allow you to hold signs, talk on the phone while seeing each other, and feel more connected.
#3 - FaceTime, Zoom, or Skype
Video chatting is another great way to keep in touch with loved ones when you are unable to visit them in person. Many facilities have tablets or iPads to help residents connect with loved ones and staff members will likely be able to assist residents with the technology.
#4 - Snail Mail
If you cannot visit or video chat, you can provide something for your loved one to hold onto by sending them a special letter or card. Be sure to include photos! This is a wonderful way to send personal items, kids’ drawings, or mementos.
#5 - Send a Care Package
Bring over some of your loved one’s favorite snacks, knick-knacks, and other fun items, and leave them with a staff member to give to your loved one. Doing so can give your loved one comfort, improve their mood, and reduce stress or anxiety. Just be sure to check with a staff member first to find out if certain items are prohibited for health and safety reasons.
Not all of these suggestions will be practical for every family. Changes in visits or routines can be a challenge for many nursing home residents. Residents with Alzheimer’s disease or other cognitive disorders may not understand why their family has stopped visiting.
Ultimately, the best thing to do is speak with the nursing home staff and explore what options are available and what will work best for your personal situation.
If your loved one is being abused in a nursing home, our lawyers at Obenshain Law Group may be able to help you seek the justice your family deserves. Give us a call at (540) 318-7360 or fill out an online contact form.