Long Distance Caregiving

In Atlanta, after Uncle Harold died, cousin Marty used to call Aunt Beaky every day. Her home was across town from his and still farther away after she moved to the Jewish Home for the Aged. I live in Asheville, North Carolina, which is almost a thousand miles from my mom in New York, so I followed Marty’s model of making contact daily. As Mom has gotten older and more withdrawn, though, it’s harder and harder to engage her on the phone, much less get a real rise out of her.

Mom is a special woman, with too many wonderful characteristics to list, and a host of quirks as well. (Naturally, couldn’t the same be said about, well, most of us?)

Wanting to stay in touch, in addition to the daily short calls, I used a miniature deck of kiddie-cards to connect our hearts. I edited each card, attaching a label–one for each letter in the alphabet–and writing a characteristic beginning with each letter on the back. These highlighted something I treasure or want to encourage in Mom.

When complete, I began sending these “little bits of happy” a few at a time, the old fashioned way – “snail mail.”

Letter and picture on the front of each card

 

Contact me to order a customized set for someone you love.

Mom really enjoyed having the opportunity to open mail other than catalogs and come ons from sleazy vendors looking to take advantage of seniors (aren’t there way too many of them?) She keeps all the cards together on a ring next to her telephone. I love seeing her go through the collection from time to time when I visit.