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Caring for Parents and Grandparents During Social Distancing

Posted: 4/7/20 at 12:15pm. Post by Tony Brooks.

Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, my God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your mighty acts to all who are to come. (Psalm 71:18 NIV) 

How are you all caring for members in nursing homes and assisted living with no visitors allowed? Here are some ideas: 

It has been almost three months since my mom passed away. I must be honest and say…I am glad she is not here during this social distancing due to the coronavirus. I still miss her, but I would be going crazy knowing my sister, Tammy, nor I would be able to see her. She couldn’t answer a phone call. 

What are some ways you are connecting to your parent/church members during this time? Here are some thoughts for adult children and churches: 

  1. Churches, call them daily to check on them. When you call, have a plan in mind. What would comfort and encourage them? I have been suggesting that churches with an all-call service provide scripture and prayer (under two minutes per call) each day to send to all church members, including those who are homebound and in nursing homes or assisted living. This is a great way to connect. Deacons, call your church families at least once a week. 
  2. Children, call them daily. What calms your parent and brings joy? Is it the Lord’s Prayer, a song? Share that each time you call. 
  3. Video: Does your parent have a smartphone? If they can connect, FaceTime with grandchildren. Find ways to bring joy to them in this confusing time. 
  4. Send cards/letters. Churches can have children color pictures from home and send. Send a card/letter at least a few times a week. 
  5. Churches, have a phone number for daily devotions. Many have a digital phone tree that lasts only two minutes or less. Share a scripture and prayer during the week to encourage. Some pastors/churches have a separate number for voicemail. Let members and homebound know that number. Share a short scripture and prayer each day during the week to encourage them. 
  6. My wife, Katrina, shared with me the following: “I saw some places where family visits outside their loved one’s window and a staff person helps the person ‘see’ them or see their sign.” You can call them as you share signs and wave! 

These are just a few thoughts. Let me know what you are doing.

Brooks-TonyTony Brooks is BGAV’s Sunday School/Discipleship Specialist and Field Strategist for the Southside Region. You may email him at tony.brooks@bgav.org. Follow Tony on Twitter: @TonyBrooks7