Merging households has always helped families get through times of transition like death, divorce or job loss. But multigenerational households are being challenged in new ways during the coronavirus pandemic due to stay-at-home orders that are being enforced in multiple states.
Because of the social distancing measure, families can’t easily separate children from older family members in the home.
Although tough, this time of quarantine has made way for multigenerational communal living to offer each person a foundation to withstand the crisis. But there are some measures you can take to make the transition easier.
1. Establish a routine
Families have been forced to shift their daily routines while socially isolating. Putting a new routine in place in the beginning will eventually help your children adjust to these changes and keep the new situation from overwhelming them. Tip: Aim for finishing homework in the mornings and reserve chores for the afternoon.
2. Maintain distance and hygiene habits while in public
While making grocery shopping trips, maintain social distancing measures by staying at least six feet apart from other people and wash your hands regularly. Also, make an effort to avoid crowded places as much as you can.
3. Go outside
Although it’s advised to avoid community playgrounds or pools, getting some fresh air can do wonders for morale and be a great way to maintain physical and mental health. It also alleviates potential claustrophobia that may occur while spending lots of time with family in close quarters.
4. Stay virtually connected
Right now, experts recommend that families limit playdates and events with extended family until the crisis is over. That doesn’t mean, however, that you can no longer communicate with them. Utilize digital communication as much as possible to keep kids socially connected with friends and family. You could, for example, schedule a video call with grandparents or encourage your children to text or message classmates they miss.
5. Take extra safety measures for vulnerable family members
While it hasn’t been found that COVID-19 adversely affects younger people and infants, there is a higher risk for the elderly, pregnant women and those with serious illnesses who are more at danger of severe symptoms if they get the virus.
If you have family members in your household who are more vulnerable to COVID-19, restrict their time in public as much as possible. Additionally, the CDC also recommends not visiting relatives in assisted living or nursing homes for the time being because they are so vulnerable to infection.
We hope these tips help during these challenging times!