DEAR HARRIETTE: I am so worried about my mother. She is elderly and not very well. She lives in an assisted living facility and, because of COVID-19, we can't visit her. Recently, two of her friends have died. At first we didn't want to tell her. We are worried that she may lose the will to get better and live.
Before the pandemic, we spent every Sunday with my mother. We all looked forward to it. She got to be with her grandkids. It was easy and fun. It's been almost a year since we have been able to see her. It's hard on us, but I know it's harder on her. And now, who knows when we will be able to see her since COVID is worse than ever. How can we encourage my mother to stay positive? -- Holding On
DEAR HOLDING ON: Find out if the facility has a tablet that will allow you to see one another when you talk. In this way, when you call your mother, she can see your face and the faces of your family members, especially the children. Call her regularly so that she can see and hear you. Talk about positive things that are happening. Ask her to tell you stories about things she remembers.
Be vigilant about connecting to her regularly. If there is a way for you to visit and see your mother through the window, make weekly visits like that as well. Send her flowers and small gifts that remind her of how much you love her. Again, remain vigilant and positive.