When can we reunite the grandparents and grandchildren?

Families/Kids Staying Safe

A: Slowly and safely, with a mutually agreed upon timeline and ground rules.

Important efforts to protect grandparents, a higher risk group for Covid-19 complications, conflict with strong desires for intergenerational connections between grandparents and grandchildren. This is really hard on everyone! As shelter-in-place orders lift, here are some things to consider when making plans to reunite.

This is not personal. Balancing life threatening risks to grandparents while limiting the negative effects of isolation is no easy feat. Adding germy, unpredictable small children to this mix makes things even more complicated. Differences in opinions across generations can breed additional distress in an already stressful time. Stick to the facts. Listen to each other with respect.

Each situation is different. Underlying health conditions, caregiving needs, ability of family members to maintain social distancing measures, level of local Covid-19 spread, and shelter-in-place orders influence the risks of grandparents and grandchildren meeting up. There is no one right answer.

If you are planning a visit, here are a few guidelines to make visits as safe as possible:

Wait. If you can get by with the video calls and care packages for a bit longer, do it. This remains the safest option.

Social distancing rules apply. Maintaining 6 feet between people, wearing masks, hand washing, sanitizing common surfaces, and avoiding interactions when sick remains critical to preventing spread of the disease.

Outside activities are preferable to indoors.

Before grandparent visits, seal up your pod. This might include a two-week self-isolation and limiting contact with anyone not in your household.

Keep visits small and short. It may be easier to orchestrate a smaller visit with a few family members than to have a reunion with your entire extended family at once. Sleepovers and extended visits increase risks for transmission if someone in the group is infected.

Meals are tricky. Eating introduces more opportunities to touch your face and pass around germs. Extra caution required.

Link to CNN Article

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