Grandparents Going Stir Crazy?

Need an idea for Grandma and Grandpa who are stuck in the house?

Social Distancing for COVID-19 really is a struggle when it comes to your grandkids!  I have seen this with my own parents as well as with many of my patients.

How do you still interact with your grandkids, or nieces and nephews, while keeping social distance?  I know my parents have been trying to follow the guidelines, but it is a challenge.  All they want to do is spend time with their loved ones.

The Solution?

Find a way to still interact with them while being able to maintain some distance.  This can be on video chat, the phone, or sending letters or videos back and forth.  There are many ways to connect, but sometimes they just don’t seem like enough.

I want to share one activity we did recently that involved our family WITH Grandma and Grandpa but also following the guidelines.  It was so good to get out with them and we had a great time.

Guided History Tour!

Growing up, I remember my Dad talking about a place called Spring Lake where he would go as a kid and play with his cousins.  He had such fond memories of this place and it sounded amazing.

I also remember going to the cemetery on Memorial Day in Payson and finding where our ancestors were buried.  I then realized my kids had never been down there or heard my Dad talk about his relatives.

After some thought on how to get Grandma and Grandpa out of the house without going against the social distancing guidelines, I had an idea.

 

  1. We would caravan in our own cars. This would keep social distancing but allow us to go somewhere.
  2. To let my kids talk to them, we would have a 2-way radio in each car. That way no matter if we had service or not, they could talk.
  3. My Dad has many stories, so why not have him be the travel guide. He could talk about things as we drove, kind of like the Guide on the Jungle Cruise in Disneyland!

I pitched the idea to my parents, and they were all for it.  We picked a day and set a time to meet.

My mother even went the extra mile and printed off maps for the kids to follow along where we were going.  She also printed a sheet with pictures and information about the ancestors we would see.

Here We Go!

The day arrived and we showed up to their house.  My Mom then came out with a bag of candy for each child and gave them their pictures and maps.  Then we were on our way!

It took a little while for my kids to get the idea of how to carry on a two way conversation with the two way radios….but they finally got it down.

As we got close to Payson and Spring Lake, the tour guide took over.  We were then saw and experienced the area where my Dad grew up and learned some things even I hadn’t heard before.

We stopped at the cemetery in Payson and had a scavenger hunt to see who could find our relatives headstones.  All this was done while keeping 6 feet apart from each other!  The kids would run and laugh as my parents told stories of relatives they remembered.

The idea was to drive through Santaquin and around Utah Lake.  There was a little café in Santequin called the Family Tree where my parents used to buy scones the size of your head and they were wondering if it was still there.

Sure enough, IT WAS!  We stopped in and got curbside scones to go.  We ordered a few scones and they were as advertised…Massive!

Geocaching

 

Then off to Goshen and around Utah Lake where we did some hunting for Geocaches….always keeping 6 feet between us!

(If you have never done Geocaching, it is a great activity to get the kids out and active. They are really EVERYWHERE!)

As we made the turn around Utah Lake, and after 5 hours of road tripping, we said adieu and went our separate ways.

My kids all said it was a great time.  I think it brought to life that their ancestors are real people and had real lives.

My parents were grateful for the chance to get out of the house while still staying safe.  They loved seeing their grandkids and being able to talk to and see them.

Stay Safe But Healthy

Now, I share this story to give you an idea of how to get out of the house and interact with your loved ones, without putting yourself at risk.

If your area is under more specific guidelines and you are not able to drive around your county like this, then please heed the guidelines of that area.

But, if you are allowed to do something like this, I highly recommend it!

Social Distancing is great to control the spread of COVID-19, but it is also causing some major issues with the mental well being of our loved ones.  The more we can connect, the better we will be through this crisis, and at the end of it.

If you have someone you care about who is struggling, get creative and change it up!  This is just one idea.  There are SO many other ways to live life right now, even with COVID-19.

Please Share

If you have any ideas that would be fun, I would love to hear them!

Hang in there.  We will beat this thing and survive.

While we are in survival mode though, make sure you are taking care of your physical and mental health. We are open and here if you need help with the physical!

David Butler, Physical Therapist