These are challenging times. As COVID-19 sweeps through the United States, children are adapting to homeschooling and life without their peers. Adults are adapting to working from home. Meanwhile, at nursing homes throughout America, residents are adapting to life without regular visits from their loved ones.

Are you worried about isolation setting in on your loved ones you care about? Do you need some ideas on how to stay connected, remotely? Let us share some creative and practical tips for keeping in touch with a relative in a nursing home while visitation is suspended right here in our blog.

1. Share photos of loved ones. Snap a few selfies and some pictures of your spouse, children and pets to send to your loved one. If your loved one does not have or cannot use technology, talk to the nursing home and share directly with its point of contact. This way, your loved one can see that all of you are okay. Ask the nursing home staff about having pictures of your loved one taken and sent to you, too. Exchanging photos with different themes can make the activity even more engaging for everyone involved.

2. Send a care package. Does your family member have a favorite book, game, puzzle or snack? If so, put some goodies in a care package that can be sent to the nursing home. You could even send a personalized card, too. Before you do, though, double-check to make sure there are no restrictions on incoming mail or on what your loved one may receive based on his or her health concerns.

3. Staying connected directly with your loved one. Given the circumstances, your chief concern is likely maintaining regular communication with your loved one. If possible, try to keep in touch by phone. If your loved one has access to a computer and/or the internet, you may be able to communicate through Skype, FaceTime, Zoom, or email. If that is not possible, ask the nursing home administrators about providing access to these services.

4. Staying in communication with the facility itself. Keeping open lines of communication with nursing home staff may also be key to easing any fear or concerns you may have about your loved one’s health. Do not be afraid to ask for regular updates by phone or email. If the facility has a website, monitor that for general advisories. Further, do not hesitate to ask about any preventive plans or protocols that have been implemented.

As always, we are here to provide any legal support, advice and guidance you may need. We are open and ready to assist you. If you have any questions or concerns about communication or access to information about a loved one in a nursing home, we will do our best to help.