As we head into the holidays, the presence of the COVID-19 outbreak means this may be a very different time of year than normal. In particular, there’s emphasis in many areas of the country, including throughout Utah, on limiting in-person gatherings for the holidays – especially for higher-risk individuals, which includes many seniors.
At Cozy Retire, we’re taking extensive COVID-19 spread precautions in all our assisted living communities, including helping many of our residents plan safe holiday greeting formats involving their families. For many, this means a virtual holiday party or celebration of some sort. What are some of the main reasons why this is an optimal route for those with senior family members, plus what are some virtual party themes and ideas to consider? This two-part blog series will go over several tips.
Look, we’re well aware that a virtual celebration of the holidays is nowhere near ideal compared to an in-person gathering with your loved ones. In this unique year, however, this is a risk-reward calculus that’s changed in major ways.
Yes, we all want to spend in-person time with our family. However, with COVID-19 rates spiking across the country, and particularly in Utah, the risk of spreading this condition to those outside your own household is incredibly high. When you factor in the increased risk that many seniors face from this condition due to their age and many possible medical conditions, it’s really not worth the risk to them or the community at large to have these kinds of gatherings. This is why virtual parties, utilizing the great technology we have available in 2020, are such a great alternative.
For some seniors who aren’t experienced with this modern technology, caregivers may have to take some time to give them a broad explainer. Whether you’re using Skype, Facetime, Zoom or some other video chatting service, ensure your senior loved one knows how to work the basic controls and will not be confused when the time for the virtual celebration comes. Our staff will be happy to help here, including with connecting to private family networks or other needs.
Now let’s look at some of the top ideas we recommend for virtual holiday celebrations.
This one will take just a bit of advanced prep in terms of making sure gifts arrive at the right locations, but these are logistics most of us can handle. Make sure you ship packages well in advance so they arrive on-time. Once everyone has their gifts, you can set up the whole family on a video call and perform the exact same gift-opening ceremony you would in any other year, allowing family members to communicate virtually. Once again, our staff will be happy to assist your loved one with any tech setup needed.
For more on virtual holiday celebrations to keep loved ones safe, or to learn about any of our senior living community services, speak to the staff at Cozy Retire today.