Jenn Buman

When staying away says,

I love you.


Sunday is Mother’s Day. Usually we buy flowers and book nice brunches. Not this year. Instead of gathering to show mom how special she is, we get to show our love by staying away!


 

The risk is just too high for our elderly moms due to Covid-19. Current statistics show 80% of COVID deaths are people over 60. Half are over 70.


Which means, if your mom lives in a senior community, the doors are probably closed to visitors. Quarantine measures are in place.


Assisted living, memory care communities, adult care homes, and nursing homes stay focused on resident safety. In fact, Oregon has had far fewer deaths than many other states because of these restrictions.


And, you can expect quarantine measures to stay in effect for a long while. At least until there’s a vaccine or quick-testing kits.

Impact of isolation on mental health


While we focus on our parent’s physical safety, let’s not forget other health aspects. What’s the impact of isolation on their emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being?

Research is clear. Social isolation and loneliness are linked to poor mental health.


So now you’re stuck between a rock and a hard place. To keep mom safe, stay away. Stay away, and she suffers.

Alternative Mother's Day Celebration Ideas

Even if restrictions in your area have lifted somewhat, don’t rush back to normal. Stay vigilant on her behalf.

1.

Use Zoom, FaceTime, Google Hangouts, or Skype to stay in touch. (sorry this is so obvious and already discussed ad nauseum).


But…did you know you can record your online meetings? Use these “get-togethers” to interview your mom about her life.


Ask her questions like these: 52 Questions -Writing Your Life Story 


Then, edit the clips into one feature film starring your mom. What a great gift to her and future generations.

 

2.

Make sure you ask your mom about her emotions. In times of uncertainty, everyone needs to know they are not alone.


Show your emotional support. Nothing says, “I love you” like attentive listening.

3.

Your mom has lived through a lot of tough times. She’s a wealth of strength but may not know it. Ask her what experiences in her past have prepared her for today.

4.

Make a video or photo album for your mom. Interview your siblings, grandkids, nieces and nephews. Ask them to share their favorite memories with mom/grandma/auntie. Edit, add music and captions. She’ll love it!


5.

Play games together while online visiting – Yahtzee is a good one.

6.

Make a video or photo album for your mom. Interview your siblings, grandkids, nieces and nephews. Ask them to share their favorite memories with mom/grandma/auntie. Edit, add music and captions. She’ll love it!


7.

If mom lives at home or restrictions in her senior community have eased, consider a country drive.


If the weather is warm enough, she can sit in the back seat, opposite from you with the windows cracked open (6’).


Mask up. Wash up.

8.

Sit outside, 6’ apart. Bring individual boxed meals (no family style eating).


Or, you can sit outside while mom stays inside. You can chat through the window. Maybe the kids (and dog) can do tricks, put on a skit, or play charades.

9.

Deliver flowers (or have them delivered).


Add a handmade card with heartfelt message (like you did as a kid).


Leave them on the porch or at the front desk of her senior community.

Mother’s Day just isn’t going to be the same


Yes, you're right. And it’s not “fair”. Nothing about this pandemic has been fair.


If your mom’s community still has “keep out” policies, it’s only for her (and her cohorts’) good. We’re giving up personal freedoms and using self-discipline because we care.


 Stay vigilant. Get creative.

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