Malinda Shultice is the new Executive Director of Cedar Ridge Village. Malinda has her master’s degree from Drake University and is currently going to school to obtain her doctorate degree in healthcare administration. She has a daughter named Berlin that always keeps her on her toes. Her favorite author is Edith Wharton and favorite book is Summer. When Malinda is not at work, she is writing for leisure or conjuring up her next European adventure. She loves new faces and is thrilled to build relationships with the residents and families.
The pandemic has temporarily changed how generations of families interact with one another. Here are a few fun ways to spend time with loved ones, while observing social distancing guidelines.
Set a routine.
Try to block off a regular check-in time every week or every few days to say hello and discuss life events. If your grandparent is not particularly tech-savvy, this can be a regular phone call, or if they are, a Zoom or FaceTime chat.
Not all seniors are savvy when it comes to digital communications like Facetime and Zoom. Not only are letters more familiar for some, but they also give younger generations a chance to flex their writing and creativity skills. Drawings, handmade cards, and childrens’ arts and crafts projects are a wonderful thing to include if you have children who might be too small to write a letter. And if you have young children, sending and receiving mail is a fun novelty for a generation that has grown up on the internet.
Make a care package.
In addition to mailing letters and cards, put together a package of fun activities for grandparents. Puzzle books, crossword puzzles, card games, or books are a good start. Set up an exchange. One week you mail them a package; the next week, they send something back. And while everyone is encouraged to avoid unnecessary trips to the store, this might be an excellent time to utilize online deliveries or get creative. Putting together an album of old photos or recipe collections is a fun activity to get children involved while everyone is at home. It costs virtually nothing and has a more profound sentimental value for your loved ones.
It’s a date.
Set aside a time to watch a television show or movie simultaneously. This way, you will have something to talk about the next time you check-in. Perhaps start a virtual family book club if you have avid readers at home.
Do your grandparents have a unique skill or hobby they could teach grandchildren over a video call? Maybe your children want to give their grandparents a show-and-tell or talent show over Facetime? Some numerous hobbies and activities can be done virtually with grandparents, from teaching a hobby or skill to finishing homework or sharing a meal.