National Shut-in Visitation Day
February 11 is National Shut-in Visitation Day. What a wonderful idea! A visit to a shut-in can make such a difference to that person. We should have a monthly shut-in visitation day or a weekly shut-in visitation day. Shut-ins can feel cut off from the world. They often feel so isolated. The days are long and all the same.
Sometimes shut-ins do not have family near-by or friends available to visit and spend time with them. A shut-in can be living at home with a caregiver or in an assisted living facility, a nursing home, or in a temporary hospital or rehab center. It does not matter where they are or how long they are there, a visit with them will brighten their day and positively impact their wellbeing!
Great! But here we are living with Covid19 and there is no way that we can actually make those visits right now. But there are things we can do instead.
· Calling on a regular basis. I have a friend who calls a shut-in that she has known for years almost every day. The shut-in is having memory problems and usually has to be reminded who she is chatting with. It doesn’t matter. For the short time of the conversation, the shut-in feels that someone cares. It is a chance to chat about everything and anything that might cross their mind. It is a temporary escape. Sure, later on they might not even remember that they got that call but for the 10 minutes of the call they were a happier person.
· Take over a meal. I take a home cooked meal to a shut-in friend once a week. She lives with her son in their home and she has a lot of health issues. I always call and chat a bit before I bring over the food and leave it with her son. I cook enough for the two of them to have two meals each. It is not only a change in menu for my friend but also a break for her son.
· Send cards. Most people enjoy getting a card in the mail, especially if it has a nice note in it or maybe a picture. You don’t need to wait for a special occasion to send the card. The card will brighten up their day and I’ll bet they leave it out to look at over and over again.
· Send flowers or another small gift. When I take over the cooked meal, I always bring a small bouquet of flowers. My friend always looks forward to those flowers and her son always returns a vase.
· Link up with an organization that gives help to shut-ins. Either volunteer or give donations to organizations that support the shut-in community. There are many out there and most have modified their programs for the Covid19 but still could use support.
Most of us are busy people with full days. Take a moment and think what it would be like if all that busyness disappeared and was replaced with nothingness. What if instead of rushing here and there or hopping in the car to run an errand, you were stuck in one place – maybe one room – and depended on others for everything.
Find one person who is in that position. It might be a family member, a friend, or someone you have never met. Take time out of your busy schedule to brighten the day of one shut-in.