Connecting with your Loved One in a Healthcare Facility

The recent COVID-19 pandemic presents a variety of challenges for everyone. Due to social distancing, most families are coping with these challenges by making the most of their time spent together. But what about family members who are not able to social distance together? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has given the following guidance to long-term care facilities and nursing homes: “Restrict all visitation except for certain compassionate care situations, such as end of life situations.”

This restriction poses a new set of challenges for families across the country. In order to overcome that challenge, let’s start by re-phrasing “social distancing” to “physical distancing.” There are still ways to socialize with people who are not physically close. Families are finding creative ways to emotionally connect and provide comfort to their loved ones in a healthcare facility. Here are some ideas:

  • Write a letter of encouragement and write often. Send updates, poems, or spiritual and religious text.
  • Send pictures and paintings to brighten their day. Send a few extra to share with other patients. This is a great way to involve children who might be in your circle of influence.
  • Ask the healthcare facility if you can drop off a care package full of puzzles and games to keep your loved one busy.
  • Utilize FaceTime or other video conferencing options if available.
  • Rest assured the healthcare facility personnel are providing personalized and compassionate care to your loved one.

While thinking of creative ways to connect with your loved one, remember to also practice self-care. The emotional toll of our temporary new normal can leave us feeling hopeless or inadequate. We encourage you to focus on what you can control and trust that you, and those around you, are all doing their best for the greater good of our communities.