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Ways for Caregivers to Show Affection When They Can’t Give a Hug

​Hugs are a wonderful way for caregivers to show older family members they care about them. Nearly everyone likes being hugged. Unfortunately, with the coronavirus pandemic, we’re all staying a little further apart these days. Hugging your aging relative may not feel safe, particularly if you don’t live with them. So, how can you remind the senior that you care when you can’t give them a hug? Here are some suggestions.

Change the Way You Hug

According to a recent New York Times article, the chances of catching the coronavirus during a quick hug is actually pretty low. However, no one knows exactly how much exposure to the virus is needed to cause infection. By changing the way they hug, caregivers can reduce the risk of transmitting the virus during a hug. Some tips for safer hugging are:

  • Don’t talk while hugging since it makes the transfer of respiratory droplets more likely.
  • Keep hugs short.
  • Turn your head in the opposite direction of the senior’s.
  • Both parties should wash hands after hugging.
  • Wear a mask while hugging.

Send a Card or Letter

Even if you see your older family member regularly, sending them a handwritten card or letter will be an extra reminder of how much you care. It shows that even when you aren’t with them, you’re thinking about them.

Blow Kisses

Caregivers and seniors can blow kisses to one another from across the room to show they care. If it feels strange, try explaining that you’d like to hug, but you can’t so the blown kiss is a substitute for now.

Bring Flowers

Flowers are sure to make your aging relative smile. You don’t have to spend a lot. Even a colorful bouquet from the grocery store can show that you care. You could even cut fresh flowers from your own yard and tie them together with a pretty ribbon.

Use a Gentle Touch

You may not be able to hug but squeezing the senior’s hand is okay if you’ve just washed your hands. You could also touch their arm, pat their back, or lightly squeeze their shoulders from behind.

Make a Special Meal

Caregivers may make meals for their aging relatives all the time, but there are ways you can make a meal more special than usual to show you care. Try making the senior’s favorite meal. Perhaps you might set the table with their best dishes and a pretty tablecloth. Go all out and make their favorite dessert, too!


If you or an aging loved one is considering caregivers in Sedalia, CO, please contact the caring staff at SYNERGY HomeCare today at 303-953-9924.