By Merritt Whitley, Editor
Tough times create unpredictable challenges. They also inspire and bring people together in unconventional ways. As people follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines about social distancing, or avoiding close contact, with older Americans to help prevent the spread of coronavirus, many are finding creative ways to spread love and kindness to elderly loved ones.
If you haven’t grabbed a box of tissues yet — now’s your chance. These touching stories have melted our hearts.
1. Sharing a milestone moment with her grandfather
Carly Boyd, a nurse in North Carolina, wanted to share her exciting engagement news with her grandfather, who has dementia and limited access to the phone. She was able to arrange a once-in-a-lifetime moment with her grandfather’s senior living community to show off her sparkling ring and news in-person.
2. Serenading the love of his life in the rain
Ed Oliver Bohld, a Massachusetts man, wanted the opportunity to serenade his longtime girlfriend outside of her assisted living facility. After being granted permission, he rushed to her window as rain poured down to serenade her with the classic tune of “You Are My Sunshine” — the perfect song for a cloudy day.
3. Bringing smiles to nursing home residents
A large and loveable Great Dane named Tonka didn’t want to give up his routine visits to residents at a senior living community in Texas. Tonka and his owner Christine made their usual rounds by visiting windows and giving lots of air high fives!
4. Father-son bonding during daily phone chats
Sandy Hamilton, a staff member at a senior living community in Minnesota, paused to capture this daily ritual — an elderly father and son having a casual phone chat while lounging in chairs on opposite sides of a window.
5. Honoring his wife on their anniversary outside her nursing home
Bob and Nancy Shellard have been married for 67 incredible years. Visiting restrictions at Nancy’s nursing home inspired Bob to find a special yet safe way to commemorate their anniversary. He made a sign with balloons, and stood outside her window to honor their big milestone together.
6. Cheering up seniors with encouraging notes from students in Alabama
A few students from Walnut Grove Elementary in Connecticut wrote inspirational letters to seniors in nursing homes.
“Hope you don’t feel alone,” one student wrote.
“Hope you know people are here for you,” wrote another.
Do you have a favorite story of connecting through social distancing? Leave us a comment and let us know.