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How to connect with your grandparents rn

Tomorrow is my grandma's birthday, and I'm majorly missing seeing her face-to-face. If your grandparents don't live with you or close by, chances are you haven't seen them in a while either. Visiting them might pose a risk to their health because of the current global pandemic. But the Boomer generation isn't known for texting you 24/7 like your besties, so keeping in touch takes a little extra effort on your part. Whether you're ten or one-thousand miles apart, here's how you can connect with your grandparents rn.

Make a phone call

Calling your grandma or grandpa *will* make their day, we promise. Nothing beats the isolation blues faster than hearing a friendly voice. If your grandparents have a cell phone or a landline, get the number from your parents and give them a ring. It's probably a better way to reach them than text + you can leave a message if they don't pick up. Don't stress about having nothing in common. Once a week, I talk to my grandma about everything from nature documentaries and books to the weather and my plans for college. It's an easy way to stay in touch and boost both our moods.

Hop on a video chat

Facetime, Zoom, and Google Hangouts are all viable methods of video chatting with your grandma or grandpa. If they already know how to video chat, great! If not, see if you can email them a tutorial or explain it to them over the phone. Many assisted living facilities have been offering tech literacy programs for seniors to combat the lack of visits brought on by the pandemic. Once you're on the call, you can chat, play a board game together (spin/roll for them) or even cook a meal with their input. It's the best substitute for in-person communication.

Write a letter

One of my brothers hand-made our grandma a card for her eighty-third birthday. It's super-easy to order some envelopes and stamps on the web. All you have to do is write a letter talking about your life and any questions you have for your gramps & gram. You can also enclose a small token or a physical picture (like a Polaroid!). Then, wait for them to write you back. The CDC says it's unlikely for COVID-19 to be spread through mail packages, though the precautions of hand-washing and disinfecting after handling mail are always advised.

Send an email

If you want to get in touch quicker than via snail mail, sending an email is the way to go. It's probably the easiest platform for older users when it comes to messaging online. As with the above means of communication, feel free to talk about anything. Maybe you saw a good movie last week or followed a cool nail art tutorial. Whatever's going on, your grandparents will appreciate you taking the time to send them a message. Plus, you can attach videos as well as images (though you might think twice about sending your latest TikTok).

Make it a habit

Senior citizens are especially at risk for loneliness and depression during the COVID-19 pandemic. Reaching out however you can is the best way to ensure your grandparents feel loved and cared for amidst life's uncertainties. The time to reach out is always now—that way, you can ask all the questions and say all the things you want to before it's too late. Make communication a habit, whether it's daily, biweekly or monthly. It might sound like a cheesy lyric from High School Musical, but we really are all in this together.

Title Image: Pexels
Post Images: Bailey Bujnosek

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by Bailey Bujnosek | 8/6/2020
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