Issue 4
Friday, March 27, 2020
Prince William County
Dear Neighbors,

It's human nature to want to feel connected to those we love. Yet, now when the need is even stronger, we are often being asked to do the exact opposite.

'No Visitors' policies are being implemented in Nursing Homes, Assisted Living, Group Homes, and other Long-term Care facilities People are self-quarantining due to underlying medical issues, possible exposure to COVID-19, or if they are experiencing symptoms. So how can we show or express love when we can't do it in person?

Today’s technology along with some low-tech tools can help alleviate the loneliness that can come with social distancing and isolation. Below are 5 ways to stay connected with those you care about who are isolated and I've included how you can volunteer to help others in our community feel connected .

In Service,
Chair Ann Wheeler
Tips for Connecting Isolated Loved Ones
Phone Calls

Remember we’re all just a phone call away. Call regularly to remind them how much you love and miss them. If they don’t have a phone in their room or a cellphone, call the community management to see what can be arranged. Be sure to tell your loved one you really want to see them, but you can’t for their protection and safety from the virus. Let them know this is just a temporary way to connect until it the restrictions are lifted.
Virtual Face-to-Face

Seeing your smiling face as well as the other members of the family will bring them comfort and make them feel included. If they have an iPad, iPhone, laptop, smart phone, etc., use Facetime, Skype or other type of video call with them so they can see you. Assure them as soon as the coronavirus issue is resolved, you will be visiting them. With free apps like Zoom you can have multiple people join the same video from different locations for a family reunion!

You can always communicate through emails. Email is a good way to keep in touch with your loved ones during this coronavirus pandemic. A lot of seniors like emails because they are an easy way to communicate in an immediate way. They can send and receive updates from family and friends as well as photos. The best part is emails can be saved. This allows them to reread your emails and repeatedly view the photos you send them.
Social Media

Even before the pandemic, many, including seniors, have used social media as a great way to keep in touch with our loved ones. Social media makes it a lot easier to keep up with what’s going on with family members and friends. Seeing photos and status updates of their loved ones helps them feel closer especially during the “No Visitors” policy. It can also help them to stay updated and informed about current events and news
Letters and Cards

Many of us have gotten out of the habit, but people love receiving personal letters or postcards in the mail. During this challenging time, write letters. Its a great idea to include a photo or two they can set out and enjoy. It's sure to make the recipient feel appreciated and loved. Getting something in the mail from a family member or dear friend always feels special and will brighten up their day.
How to Help People Who May Not Have Anyone

If you have the desire and time to help those in our community you don't know feel connected, ACTION Through Community in Service (ACTS) has a great opportunity. In their Senior Link program, volunteers make simple five to ten minute calls to home-bound seniors to check in to see how they are doing, offer services, or simply to provide personal contact. Learn more at ACTS Commitment to Our Community During COVID-19 and/or email Helpline Director Kate Long at [email protected] .
Ann B. Wheeler was elected Chair At-Large of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors during the 2019 General Election and assumed office on January 1, 2020. Prince William County is located 25 miles south of Washington, D.C., and is the Commonwealth of Virginia’s second-most populous county with approximately 469,000 residents.