Staying in Touch with Grandparents during the Lockdown

27 May, 2020
Dad, Mom, grandparents... We'll all be able to hug each other again very soon. Despite the distance, we're still close. Our love towards grandparents, and their love towards us, can be nourished every day through messages and video calls that help keep us connected. Here's how to stay in touch with grandparents during the lockdown!
 

The coronavirus health crisis has forced parents and grandparents to blow virtual kisses at their grandchildren through cell phones or computer screens. This contact is strange and seems very cold and distant, but it’s the only thing we have. We cling to it daily to create emotional closeness and to sustain love and contact between those who are painfully far away. Keep reading to find out how to keep in touch with grandparents during the lockdown.

The elderly are the most vulnerable group in the current pandemic. The impact on home life has opened up a sad and distressing scenario no one was prepared for.

Likewise, the fact that our parents and grandparents are the most vulnerable people of all means that we have to restrict those visits to an absolute minimum to avoid contagion and keep them safe.

Suddenly, we find ourselves in utopian situations, worthy of a science fiction movie plot. We leave their weekly groceries at the door and then greet them from afar as they go out to collect their bags. “This will be over soon,” we tell them. “Everything will be fine, we just have to be patient,” they tell us with a big smile but with sadness in their eyes.

However, our mothers, fathers, grandmothers, and grandfathers are strong. They always transmit that indestructible comforting warmth and enthusiasm.

They’ve had to become experts in technology. They’re now all video call gurus and even tell stories to their grandchildren from a distance, through fiber optics. Times change, and, sometimes, life brings great changes without any prior notice and with no time to prepare ourselves.

 
A videocall to grandparents.

Staying in touch with grandparents during the lockdown

Children’s lives now revolve around their parents more than ever and many of them (especially the youngest) don’t understand why they can’t go and see their grandparents during the lockdown. Our parents and grandparents have to pass the hours alone, without seeing their grandchildren, and without the daily support of their children.

It’s all very difficult to understand but we accept this reality by telling ourselves that it’ll be temporary and that the most important thing is to overcome it and to make sure that none of our loved ones get infected.

On the other hand, many other factors affect our elderly relatives. Some have company, while others face these days alone. Some have family, while others don’t. In addition, we can’t forget those who are in nursing homes. Whatever their situation, we must create links with them from a distance.

Perhaps we have an elderly neighbor, a widow who always greets us when we take the elevator. Perhaps, next door to our parents, lives a man whose children live in another province. They may need your help. Create a support network to ensure they always have what they need. Buy their groceries for them if they need it and give them a call to see how they’re doing.

 

When your relatives are in a nursing home

As we pointed out, one of the most difficult circumstances that many families are experiencing at the moment is their concern for a family member who’s in a nursing home. Extreme measures have been taken to protect the residents (and the workers) and visits are severely restricted, if not completely forbidden.

How can you handle this type of situation? How do you maintain your ties with them at a distance?

  • The first thing you must do is understand the current situation. Accepting that the elderly are the most vulnerable group forces us to take extreme precautions.
  • Nursing homes must take extreme care of their health and protection. Because of this, you may not know when you’ll be able to see them.
  • Likewise, these homes must establish mechanisms to be able to keep relatives informed about their loved ones’ health on a regular basis.
  • Finally, you’ll need to find ways to have video calls with your elderly relatives, even when they’re in a nursing home. These are essential in order for you to see how they are and enjoy quality time.
An elderly couple.

Keeping the connection between grandchildren and grandparents

 

There’s no better antidote for this crisis than the love between grandchildren and grandparents during the lockdown. They need to be connected despite the physical confinement.

Keeping connected from afar must be a daily task, and much more so with children and their grandparents during the lockdown. For some, it’s downright necessary, while, for others, it’s a really healthy practice. We should do this on a daily basis so that the love between them remains alive. This way, we’ll show that love is indestructible and all fears will instantly disappear.

During your video calls, there are several aspects you should take into account. The first thing is to ask them how they are, what they’ve eaten, or what they’re going to eat. You need to be aware of their well-being and state of mind.

Another highly positive thing is to focus both their attention and memory. You can do this by means of questions that can help them remember both the good times and the activities they’ve been doing. This will help them to focus and cling to the here and now in this difficult home confinement that makes time far more vague and diffuse.

Making plans

It’s always a positive thing, both for your children and elderly relatives, to keep the fires of hope burning. You must nourish these hopes by making plans and organizing activities that you’ll be able to do when this is all over and we can return to relative normality.

In conclusion, these are difficult days for everyone. Nevertheless, we must make every effort to pay special attention to the most vulnerable ones in this epidemic.

 

Our elderly relatives gave us everything, and now they need us more than ever. And, as ironic as it may seem, the best way for us to help them is by establishing physical distance but, at the same time, narrowing the emotional gap.