Today I am sharing nine thoughtful ideas for how we can love and help our elderly friends, family and neighbors right now – ways to “love they neighbor” while social distancing.
If you do any of these things please post photos on your Instagram feed to encourage others to do the same. Use hashtag #dosaygiveathome and tag @dosaygive for us to see and share!
1. Leave your name and number in your elderly neighbor’s mailbox.
Even if you’ve never met her! Leave your number and offer to get groceries, toilet paper, anything else they need. I did this a few days ago and both ladies called me within an hour so thankful for the offer and the conversation!
2. Send JOY with a free printable post card!
I am so excited to partner with Joy Creative Shop to share this free printable postcard! Print it out on card stock and let your children decorate the cards. (You can also print on regular paper and stick in an envelope.) Drop it off in neighbor’s mailboxes or send in the mail! Call local nursing homes to see if they are accepting cards. Download here.
Another idea: have your children draw self portraits and list a few of their favorite things and drop off in neighbors’ mailboxes.
2. Buy groceries for elderly family and friends.
Many elderly people are nervous to be out in public right now. So order groceries online and/or prepared meals from restaurants to help. If you go to the grocery store, be sure to scope out the parking lot. You might spot an elderly person who would rather not go inside. Offer to shop for him or her!
3. Send a thoughtful treat.
And support a small business! Our sponsor Le Gourmet Baking has the cutest “I am thinking of you” box of scrumptious shortbread cookies. They ship nationwide.
4. Offer conversation!
Isolation is so lonely. A 5-10 minute conversation can lift someone’s spirits. This is also a good opportunity for children to practice phone etiquette! Have a mock conversation before you call and then let children practice their skills. Win win.
5. Check on their caregivers.
One way to love our elderly population is to check on their caregivers. Call caregivers, private nurses, etc. Make sure they are well and still able to work.
If you have a family member in an assisted living or nursing home monitor the staffing situation. As more people get the virus these facilities may become strained.
6. Call your church to see how you can minister to the elderly.
They may have specific needs or ideas and can point you in the right direction.
7. Help them watch Sunday’s sermon.
Social distancing is making many churches go online for the time being. But many elderly people don’t have internet or don’t know how to find a sermon online. See how you can help. Lend a (sanitized) iPad all ready to go with the sermon loaded or – depending on your city’s health officials recommendations- sit and watch it together.
8. Send them a gift of comfort.
A weighted blanket, a lovely tea gift or a photo gift. We’ve got lots of ideas in our Gift Guide for the Elderly or shop some of my favorites here:
Have your children been practicing for a spring concert at school? Have they learned a new hymn at church? How about some spring time caroling or face timing?! The angelic voices of children can bring joy to an elderly neighbor or family member. A nursing home might let your family sing outside the windows of elderly patients. (Please send me a video if you do this!)
Please share what you have done for elderly neighbors and loved ones below! And please, please, please share this post to remind everyone to check on the elderly!
And, if you have any other “what to do” or “what to say” questions for social distancing, send them my way and we’ll try our best to help.
Notepad c/o May Fly June Bug