Building relationships across generations is challenging in today’s climate of social distancing. Many older people are vulnerable to the COVID-19 virus and are self-quarantining to avoid increased exposure. But this also presents a unique opportunity for creating connections.
Today, we’re going to explore methods of virtual communication between grandparents and their grandchildren. Whether you live across town or across the country, you can still keep in touch with your senior loved ones from a distance.
Benefits of Connection
Many of us hold strong memories of sitting at a grandparent’s knee and listening to stories of times past. Todays’ young people have found unique ways of maintaining these special relationships.
Grandchildren benefit from a sympathetic ear to their daily challenges, which they may not always share with their parents. Staying close to grandparents also creates a secure sense of family heritage and cultural history. Seniors receive companionship, love, and a sense of purpose when they bond with their grandchildren. This also combats the disconnection and loneliness that plague many seniors.
Online Tools to Stay in Touch
The AARP compiled a survey to determine how grandparents connect with their grandchildren.
Here are the results of their survey*:
- Letter writing
- Telephone calls
- Video chat with grandparents (FaceTime, Zoom, Google Hangout, etc.)
- Social Media
Take a look at the list of tools and communication methods above. Which could best serve your family?
Using Technology with Grandparents
Now, some might be concerned about the learning curve for new technologies. Rest assured that all of these tools can be taught to a senior relative. We recently wrote about approaches for helping seniors navigate technology and came up with the following top tips:
- Set them up for success
- Explain the “why” to build excitement
- Minimize jargon
- Be patient while teaching
- Provide time to practice
Our other recent blog covered tech tips for seniors, such as how to set-up a smart speaker and become a whiz at Internet surfing.
How to Show Grandparents You Care
Staying in touch with elderly relatives is a wonderful way to maintain family connections. But you can also show them you care by:
- Set-up automated services
- Hire professional services
- Arrange for regular visits
- Hire a Personal Care Assistant (PCA)
All four of these tips were covered in greater detail in this blog about taking care of seniors from a distance.
Connect to Best Care
Maintaining close connections between grandparents and grandchildren is totally possible, even if you live far apart. It’s especially important during this time of social distancing. Online communication and video chats with seniors allows for daily conversations, which has many advantages for both parties!
We hope you are inspired by these ideas to strengthen connections between grandparents and grandchildren. Our team can guide you on other topics, such as family caregiving, so you can understand the home care services available for your situation. Call us at (651) 330-2550!
*AARP. “Tech Keeps Grandparents, Grandkids Connected.” Image retrieved from https://www.aarp.org/home-family/personal-technology/info-2019/grandparents-tech-survey.html