What you can do to stay connected
As we continue to be restricted from visiting family members with dementia in aged care or in hospital it is important that we find ways to stay connected.
It is important to take care of ourselves as well as those that we support in care. These simple actions and tools can help you to stay connected with your family members.
Practical tips to maintain a sense of connection
- Leave a note or card to say how lovely it was to catch up or that you are looking forward to catching up soon for a cup of tea and cake.
- Write a letter or a card using large print. Involve family and get others to contribute. They can email letters to you that you can print off and send or deliver together. Drawings by children will often bring a smile. Everyone enjoys receiving a letter or card especially if they are feeling isolated.
- If possible, prepare and drop off a care package wrapped as a present that the person will enjoy opening. This may include a new pair of slippers, a book, magazine and favourite treats or snacks if permitted. Please check with the home or hospital regarding their policy for pre-cleaning packages for safety.
- Establish regular contact using electronic devices for video or phone calls. Let the person know when you will connect with them next (even if they are unlikely to remember). It doesn’t have to be at a set time. You may prepare an easy to read schedule for calls that they or staff can refer to.
- You could read a story or favourite poem in person or record yourself doing this on a device. You can sing a song with the person and record that too. Staff will find this valuable to use later on if the person becomes unsettled or simply enjoys hearing your voice, stories or music. Audio books could also be used along with a preloaded music collection.
- Create memory boxes with special items or put together photo albums or reminiscence boards. Not only does it assist someone to remember times gone by but provides staff with ways to connect and create personalised conversation if you are unable to be there.