What if you could write a letter to Gramma right now?
I lost my Gramma almost a year ago. I lost my Pa-Paw a couple of years back right before I started contributing to Lifestyle Frisco. They were both in separate senior living communities.
My grandfather had his wits, but not his health. My grandmother suffered from dementia and glaucoma. They had to stay in separate senior care facilities and couldn’t visit each other often. That killed me, but I knew anyone in our family could visit them anytime they wanted to lift their spirits, give them a hug, or share stories of how the family was doing.
I can’t imagine how they would be doing right now when assisted living communities have been challenged with restricting outside visitors due to COVID-19. I wish I could write a letter to my Gramma right now to tell her I miss her; tell her she’s not forgotten.
But maybe I could write a letter to anyone’s Gramma right now…
Or Nana. Or Mimi. Or Pa-Paw or Papo or Dada or any other terms of endearment you might have bestowed upon your family members who helped love and raise your parents — and then spoiled you just to get back at your parents, you know? Or perhaps its Dad or Mommy or Uncle or Sister. Who doesn’t enjoy a surprise, friendly “how are you?”
Turns out, I can write a letter. I can send flowers. I can send artwork. I can send supplies. You can too, and you should.
Seriously, Google “Frisco Senior Living.” There are numerous locations in the Frisco area that have residents who would love to receive a surprise gift or memento.
Bethesda Gardens Frisco does a Tuesday parade with a cart carrying ice cream or root beer floats. They love using that time to hand out postcards and art from local school kids to their residents. One lucky guy or gal could get a special delivery from you. You don’t even have to be a school kid or enjoy root beer!
And this just in: Bethesda Gardens Frisco will host a car parade on August 29th for one of their Assisted Living residents who’s turning 100! They hope to have 100 cars for her 100th birthday! During a car parade in May, they had about 90 cars and lots of happy tears — they’re anticipating another great turnout from our families and community.
Other places like The Grove at Frisco Commons are welcoming any gifts. They receive calls requesting help in sourcing disinfecting wipes, gloves, toilet paper, and other essentials. If anyone in the community is moved to drop off essential items or even friendly notes, cards, or drawings, they will be glad to find ways to distribute them.
UPDATE 07-09-20: The Grove is currently closed and staff is working remotely, so you’ll need to contact The Grove prior to delivering any items to ensure that someone is able to meet them and place the donated items inside. Please send letters to their main address, and The Grove can easily resend them to our members. Call us at 972.292.6550 for any needed items or mail letters to: The Grove at Frisco Commons 8300 McKinney Road, Frisco, Texas 75034
Mustang Creek Estates of Frisco is another community that welcomes caring cards, tasty treats, and adorable art. In addition, another idea that I hadn’t thought about until it was mentioned is that new, recent magazines, games, puzzles, or playing cards are always thoughtful ways to send a smile to someone who needs one. My Pa-Paw taught me to play poker when I was a kid, and he always preferred a fresh deck of cards (and a gullible grandson) to deal a hand with.
Parsons House Frisco, a blended independent and assisted-living community, is pet-friendly. What better way to cheer up a resident and offer them some company than to help them adopt a mature pup or cat that needs a good home? Contact Parson’s House and ask if you can be of assistance in finding a home for a rescue animal.
What if it’s time to relocate your aging parents?
Beyond supporting those already living in assisted or independent living environments, what do you do if you have an aging parent or other family member who needs assistance and/or is ready to downsize from a single-family home? It’s a terrifying time to find a safe place for your loved one. So many concerns…
Easing some of those worries, communities like Discovery Village At Castle Hills have placed a high priority on keeping residents engaged and social, but still safe at home as much as possible. Discovery Village has facilitated the use of technology to communicate with their loved ones (FaceTime/Zoom) and provided one on one training to support these continued social interactions.
The staff has been able to run operations very smoothly so the residents can enjoy their retired life, be as active as they would like, and remain safe. Janet Bergman, Senior Lifestyle Coordinator, shared,
Discovery Village at Castle Hills, independent senior living, is all about lifestyle. They have had a carefully planned, gradual easing of restrictions for residents. Modified dine-in services are now open with socially distanced, limited seating. And they’re offering small group structured activities such as games, exercise class, Bible study, even happy hour and weekly live entertainment. Parking lot tailgating with loved ones is still highly encouraged.
What hasn’t eased is their diligence with safety and cleaning protocols and a testing program. Bob Khalifé, Executive Director, continues to have his hands on the controls and makes adjustments as necessary with his staff to give the residents the best experience they can under any circumstances.
Consider how you can help with daily activities…
You can help an aging parent or neighbor by getting more involved in their daily lives and assisting them while making sure everyone stays safe. Here are a few ways to help:
- Drop off a fresh, home-cooked meal or frozen meals that can be easily heated. Consider having healthy, ready-made meals shipped directly to their home.
- Set up a lawn-care service to maintain their lawn.
- Offer to submit an online order for parents shopping for necessities and arrange for groceries or other items directly to their home. Some stores offer free delivery for high risk and elderly shoppers to ensure a safe way to receive their necessities.
- Run their errands for them, pick up medications, or keep track of their tele-appointments.
I can’t write a letter to my actual Gramma anymore. But I know how much she’d have loved a letter right now when nobody can come to visit her. I imagine anyone in her situation would love and appreciate any gesture of happiness, no matter how random the gesture is or which caring stranger it came from.
Give it a try. Start a group in your neighborhood or your friends or your family. Send hugs to those who can’t currently receive them from their families. Let them know you’re thinking about them. Send some smiles in any way you can think of. Gramma would appreciate it.