August 6, 2020
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Navigating the aging journey

Julie Ann Soukoulis
Five ways to make the most of time together while social distancing
July 3, 2020

 The 4th of July is commonly spent with family & friends as an opportunity to express gratitude for all the amazing liberties we hold so dear in the United States of America. This year, July 4th 2020 will look and feel a bit different as we’re forced to create social distance between the ones we love, many older adults are feeling more isolated than ever.

Home Instead Senior Care gerontologist and caregiver advocate, Lakelyn Hogan noted, “These past few months have been particularly difficult for many older adults, especially those who live alone. Feelings of disappointment and nostalgia are perfectly natural as we’re reminded of what’s been lost or changed. But, with a little creativity, we can still find joy this holiday and celebrate with your loved ones while staying safe.”

While many of us are unable to celebrate in-person with our families that doesn’t mean we can’t honor the holiday in other special ways.

Five ways to make the most of time together while social distancing

 1. Fire up the grill for a delicious meal. Your favorite BBQ spot may not be open right now, but a backyard grill session could still be an option to make the day memorable. Deliver all family July 4th  favorite fixings to an aging loved one’s doorstep and share the meal on video or plan a socially distanced get-together. If you’re unable to be together, consider cooking the same meal from your own kitchens over video chat.

2. Decorate the sidewalk or spruce up his front door. Make a pit stop at your aging loved ones sidewalk or driveway to share heartfelt messages or artwork in chalk. Covering their front door with pictures or notes is another simple way to show you are thinking of them on the holiday.  If your loved one lives in a long-term care facility, consider bringing decor to the facility, or use window paint to jazz up an outside window.

3. Take a trip down memory lane. Now is the perfect time to learn more about the ones you love most. Set aside some time to give your loved ones a call (or even better, a video call) and ask them questions about their life. You could bond over a shared love of music or reminisce on favorite travels. Get creative and take time to listen to the stories of the most important people  in your life.

4. Shop local for this year’s gift. Local businesses need support from their communities more than ever. Consider a personal token, such as custom  memorabilia, hand-crafted gift or a hobby they enjoy. Or, send over a sweet treat, perhaps an old family recipe or from a favorite bakery.  

5. Explore the outdoors together (virtually). While you might not be able to board a plane, many national parks are making it easy to enjoy the great outdoors without leaving home. Whether it’s taking a virtual hike together through Bryce Canyon or watching the Old Faithful erupt at Yellowstone, you can celebrate the day using free virtual tours online.  Many museums offer such opportunities as these online as well.  Youtube has a plethora of interactive videos to choose from with endless possibilities for whatever your loved one might be willing to engage in.

 While holidays look a little different this year for families around the world, there are still plenty of ways to get creative and make this July 4th  one to remember. For additional tips on enhancing the lives of older adults in your life, visit


Julie Ann Soukoulis is the owner of Home Instead Senior care office in Rohnert Park, mother of two and passionate about healthy living at all ages. Having cared for her own two parents, she understands your struggles and aims, through her website,  to educate and encourage seniors & caregivers. Have a caregiving or aging concern?  She’d love to hear from you at 586-1516 anytime