A guest post written by Family Caregiver Sarah Allen

Staying Connected with Mom

My mother has taken care of me for most of my life. Now she is struggling with the early stages of Alzheimer’s Disease, and I know it is my time to step up to the plate and return the favor.

Rather than continuously visit nursing homes, rehabilitation centers and try to pay for a home aid ourselves, we moved her in with my family and I take care of her.

My sister Emily lives out of town, but is constantly looking for ways to keep in touch because she can’t see my mom every day. With so many families in our situation, most know it is hard to keep in touch with loved ones we can’t see often. Here are some ways that you can stay close to loved ones.

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Talking on the phone

One classic way to stay connected with family is talking on the phone. Even if it might be for a few minutes a day, a quick chit chat can often be the thing you need to strengthen a relationship. I know with the cold weather, my mom often spends time indoors, so she can’t get that human interaction she needs. Just a quick phone call can help brighten anyone’s day and make them know that you care.

Messaging

Now some of you may be skeptical of this one already, but older family members are more tech savvy than you may think. Emailing and messaging are great ways to keep in touch, especially with our busy lifestyles.

Even video chatting is an often go to for most families. While you can’t be there in person, live video chatting is the next best thing and a great way to also make sure your family members are safe and sound. Facetime, Skype, Google Hangouts, and new devices like Nucleus’ video intercom systems let you check in with just a click of the screen. That way you know they’re safe and they know you care.

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Mail

Whatever happen to the days of the excitement of receiving a letter? While the glamour of writing letters has long died down, there is still something joyful about receiving a handwritten
letter or a package in the mail. Even though my family talks everyday, my sister sends mom letters or flowers to help show she cares. I think it’s a great way for them to stay connected and reminds them how much they love each other.

While these are only a few small ways we try to stay connected, for me, nothing beats the time you spend in person.

What are some ways you show your loved ones you care?

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