Tuesday 19 May 2020

Keeping in Touch with Elderly Relatives

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Looking after each other is extremely important and recent events that have happened across the world have made us all realise even more so just how much we value contact with others. 

Whilst many of us will have contact with friends and family through work, school, various clubs and days out. Sometimes it can harder to stay in touch with elderly relatives who may not be able to come along on family trips or who may not be living further away or in care homes. 

However that doesn't mean they are any less a part of the family and we all want to do our best to stay in contact with elderly relatives, keep them company and ensure they still feel as much a part of the family as everyone else. 

Here are some ways that you can stay in contact with elderly friends and relatives whether you are near by or far away - 

Video calls 

Video calling is probably the quickest, easiest and convenient way for everyone to stay in touch. It also means you can all see each other rather than just talking which in turn can be much more reassuring for everyone too. Setting up video calls is fairly simple but elderly relatives may need a little help initially setting it all up and learning the basics. But the great thing is that once all set up it is pretty easy to use time and time again. 

Video calls are a great option for elderly relatives who live far away who it can be difficult to go see often as well as those who live closer but like to stay in touch regularly. 

Regular visits 

Of course one of the best ways to stay in touch is arranging regular visits if you can. If you live far away this can be difficult but if you can try to arrange regular visits, whether this be weekly/monthly for those who live close or just once or twice a year for those who need to plan a trip to visit. 

Having a regular schedule can help you and often for elderly relatives who may be alone it can be something they really look forward too. 

Letters, emails and photo's 

If you can't visit in person letters are a great option to stay in touch. It also means that your elderly relatives will have a physical letter/photo they can read and reread whenever they like. Many older people also prefer letters that they can keep as a keepsake or read at their own pace too. Writing a letter to them also gives them the chance to take their time in writing back too, letters are often something older people have fond memories off so I am sure they will enjoy the chance to put pen to paper. 


Now this option is of course essentially a letter as I mentioned above. However if you have young children who love to read, write and draw why not start a penpal chain going with an elderly grandparents or relative? It gives children great practice with writing and learning all about how letters and mail work whilst keeping in touch with elderly relatives at the same time. I am sure most grandparents would love receiving a beautifully hand drawn picture and letter from their grandchildren to brighten their day. 

Offer to run errands & pick up prescriptions

Sometimes the older generation can be put off asking for help, worrying about being a burden they will hold off reaching out. However a way around this is to offer to run errands they may struggle with, this way you can still keep in touch regularly and know you are helping them out at the same time. It also means you have peace of mind that they have things they may need including food and medications. 

And for those moments when you can't be with elderly relatives or you are worried about them wishing to stay at home. You could consider a carer who can come and check on them regularly and even feed back information to you too. Experts in live in care Country Cousins, offer practical home care as well as offering comfort, companionship and compassion alongside help with household tasks and care for the elderly. This can also work out as an affordable alternative to care homes etc whilst still enabling your relatives to stay in their own home where they are usually most comfortable. 

Do you care for any elderly relatives? I would love to know how you and your family prefer to stay in touch with your elderly members of the family?


**This is a collaborative post**

1 comment:

  1. I have been calling my grandparents a lot during lockdown and was running a lot of errands for them before I moved as they were obviously told to self isolate for twelve weeks.