How to Set Aside Extra Time During the Holidays for Long Phone Calls
One of the joys of the holiday season is connecting with loved ones near and far. For senior relatives who may not be able to travel, that connection comes through telephone calls. With so much going on, however, it can be difficult to find unlimited hours to spend chatting on the phone. Calls that run very long can interrupt plans and interfere with holiday tasks and family time.
This guide will offer tips for setting aside extra time to manage long phone calls with the elderly during the holidays.
A good way to save time pre-phone calls is to jot down the names of loved ones to speak with and pertinent information to be covered during a call. Make notes of things to share and things to be sure to ask about. That way, nothing will be rudely forgotten, and the conversation can be kept on track.
Set Aside Specific Windows of Time
It may not always go as planned, but letting elderly relatives know in advance when you will be available for a phone conversation is a good idea. Time can be blocked out on the calendar so that other plans aren't made simultaneously. To stay in control of your time, make as many of the calls yourself as possible, rather than waiting to be called. This will be much appreciated and will limit the number of calls that come in at an inconvenient time.
Should an unexpected call occur, it's okay to state a better time to call or ask when would be a good time for you to return the sentiment. Make a note of it, and be certain to follow through.
Keep the Conversation Going
A long, deep conversation during a busy time is draining. Keep the conversation cheerful and light, and keep it moving. Of course, the welfare of the loved one is important, but it may not be the best time to rehash every medical event that happened during the year. Stay in a holiday mood by sharing exciting things and pleasant memories.
Plan How to End a Call After a Reasonable Amount of Time
When a conversation hasn't happened in a while, of course, there will be a tendency to extend the call. The sound of a cheerful, familiar voice is a wonderful treat for someone who may have mobility issues and misses participating in holiday festivities. To end a call after a reasonable amount of time without offending, say how much you have enjoyed catching up. Mention some of the chores you still have to do to get prepared, and wish them a happy holiday. Make plans to talk again soon.
Listen for Cues
A holiday call can serve as a chance to check in with someone who may need day-to-day assistance. During conversations with elderly loved ones, listen in for subtle cues that might alert you to that fact.
Senior Helpers Greater Richmond offers in home-services in Richmond, Henrico, Mechanicsville, and Sandston, Virginia. Contact us to learn more about how we can help a senior in your life with aging-in-place care.