What to Do If You Can't Visit Your Elderly Parents This Holiday Season
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What to Do If You Can't Visit Your Elderly Parents This Holiday Season

What to Do If You Can't Visit Your Elderly Parents This Holiday Season

Family members here in Fort Myers and surrounding areas may be unable to visit elderly loved ones this holiday season. Whether the reason is health, finances, or timing, be confident in standing by the decision. After breaking the news to the family, plan for fun times spanning across the miles this season. 

Breaking the News

The decision not to travel to see loved ones over the holidays is difficult; telling them will also be challenging. As the saying goes, bad news does not get better with time. Let them know as soon as practical. Although it is easier to text or email, call them instead. Before the phone call, accept the emotions associated with the decision, understanding that sadness and disappointment are normal and expected. Honesty is the best policy; let them know why travel isn't possible, sharing what is comfortable. Be confident in the decision; uncertainty will only draw out the inevitable and give false hope. Be empathetic to their feelings, knowing they will be disappointed and sad. Give them the time and space to feel those emotions. Give yourself grace as well, knowing the decision was hard to make.   

Visiting Across the Miles

This time of year may be difficult for your elderly family members; not having visitors compound the feelings of loneliness and loss. Call them often for a quick check-in. When able, spend quality time on the phone with them. Talk about the old days and fond memories and ask them questions about their life. Taking a genuine interest in them reinforces fondness for them. Connect to your senior loved ones virtually using technology such as FaceTime, Google Hangouts, or Zoom. Watch a comedy show together and share a laugh, or watch a game show and enjoy the competition together. Play a game! Here are some ideas for a virtual game:

Scavenger Hunt

This active game is perfect if your senior family member has no mobility issues. Together, look for things around the house. The first one back to the screen with the item gets the point.


Act out the phrase on the screen for the other to guess. It's sure to get lots of laughs along the way.  

Two Truths and a Lie

Take turns making three statements, with one of them being a lie. The opponents will try to guess which one it is.  


In this classic party game, players can use technology to draw, such as the whiteboard function on Zoom

Would You Rather

In a simple game that is fun for everyone, ask one another to decide between two horrible options: Would you rather eat a cockroach or a worm? Make up the options along the way for each other to decide.

Connecting with Love

Elderly family members enjoy receiving handwritten notes. Take the time to send them a letter or a card. Send along pictures for them to enjoy, knowing they may appreciate printed photos. Treat them to a multi-dimensional card or one that depicts something they love. Your loved one will feel the care across the miles. Sending cookies is sure to be welcome; send them via express post so they can enjoy them fresh. Mail a package filled with meaningful items, such as a pair of non-slip socks, a plush blanket, a new book, or some other item for an activity they enjoy. Flowers always make a loved one smile as well. A gift from a loved one means a lot to elderly family members.  

Enjoying time with senior loved ones this season while staying home here in Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Fort Myers Beach, North Fort Myers, Lehigh Acres, Punta Gorda, Sanibel, and Captiva is possible. Senior Helpers here in Fort Myers-Cape Coral provides exceptional in-home senior care. Contact us today to learn more about our services.