Now, don’t be scared away.
In October, there is a beginning to community traditions that carry all generations through the holidays together. I do believe these interactions generate more uplift than any other span of time within the year. This year, of course, we have to plan ahead.
The connections can be made still. Special, momentary interactions are likely more important than we ever realized. There may not be trick-or-treating door-to-door, but community spirit is still something you see celebrated. If you haven’t already, get creative with how the young interact with the old.
If your elderly family members are isolated, either at a care center or at home, remember to call. Make lots of attempts, because one or two may not catch them at their best time. When you do connect, be sure to say you’re missing the unique ways he or she makes a difference in your life. Tell a story about the family, and ask for a fun time they recall. Stay with them with your ears, your good listening skills benefit them and you. Work at the communication if you have to. It’s so true that it’s a two-way street.
Pictures, videos, cards, letters, drawings, a care package…maybe these are things a grandparent used to do for you regularly when you were a child? Did their travels always result in a souvenir you’d receive upon their return? Consider yourself their envoy now. If you are out and about in the (scary) world now, then you get to be the one to shower gifts to the folks being safe at home. And you already know it doesn’t have to be anything you buy. You are “with them” when you include someone in your adventure. Via postcard or social media post, you remind your loved ones that you are thinking about them.
You’re reaching out means they are not alone.
Whether you need an opinion on that Halloween costume you’re thinking of wearing on the next company Zoom meeting, or planning ahead for the right sidedish recipe for the table in November, choose to “be with” the most knowledgeable, give it to you straight, love you to the moon and back person for all your urgent questions. Remind the kids, the teens, the college-aged members of the family not only to keep their elders safe but to keep them engaged.
Stay with someone through these holidays. And maybe show them how to set up email on their smartphones.