In recent times past, before funerals at funeral homes in Camillus, NY, family members were able to spend the last days of their loved ones’ lives with them, either at home, in the hospital, or at long-term care facilities.
However, with the rapid spread of COVID-19 throughout the United States, things have changed. Because people who are elderly seem to be particularly vulnerable to this new strain in the class of coronaviruses, and initial outbreaks in states like Washington, New York, and New Jersey were reported in long-term care facilities, many new restrictions on visiting any medical facility have been imposed.
Here’s the rub to these restrictions: you can’t even bring your dying loved one home to die, if you want to take them out of the hospital or a long-term care facility, unless the hospital or care facility reaches a desperation point where much of their staff contracts COVID-19 or, in the case of hospitals, the most-critically ill get the few available beds.
Being physically apart from a loved one who is dying can be very stressful for both the family and the person who is dying. At a time when families normally gather and rally around their loved ones who don’t have much longer to live, families are not able to provide the comfort and support – and, most important – physical presence to their dying loved ones.
However, as is always the case in times of crisis, necessity has become the mother of invention. One of the most touching ways that families have found to be with their dying loved ones is by standing or sitting outside the window to their rooms and exchanging messages, either in writing or by phone, if their loved one is still able to communicate. Hands press together on both sides of the window glass to say, “I love you.”
There are other ways that people are using to “be there” for their dying loved ones who are not at home.
One is doing video calls instead of phone calls to talk with their loved ones (if they’re able). Many healthcare workers are willing to help their patients who make not have the technological savvy to answer video calls, so give it a try. Popular applications for making free video calls are FaceTime (iPhones only), Facebook Messenger (using the video icon), Zoom (easier to use than Skype, but video calls are limited to 40 minutes and the application seems prone to hacking), and Skype.
If your dying loved one is still eating, another popular option people are using is to eat meals together virtually. This is as close as you can get right now to everyone gathering around the table and enjoying a meal and conversation together.
Even if you can’t physically visit your dying loved one in a long-term care facility or a hospital, you may be allowed to send or drop off items to them. Consider things that might make them more comfortable (blankets, socks, or special items from their homes that they cherish) or make them feel more connected to you and your family.
Another innovate idea for that people are using to connect with their dying loved ones is creating a family playlist that everyone, including their loved one, can connect to and listen to. Include songs that are special to your loved one and include songs that you as a family have listened to through the years. This is a great way to evoke fond memories of the time you’ve spent together.
For information about funerals at funeral homes in Camillus, NY, our compassionate and experienced team at Bagozzi Twins Funeral Home, Inc. is here to help you.