How to support people you love if you can’t be with them

News and Blog

Most of us can’t be with our family and friends right now because of the coronavirus lockdown. It’s a really difficult time and some of us may be feeling cut off.

Just because you can’t see or spend time with the people you love face to face, this doesn’t mean that you can’t still support each other through this period.  Now more than ever, it’s important we all check in and stay in touch with the people we love.

Here are a few ideas you could use to do that. We hope you find them helpful.


Use video and phone calls

Video and phone calls are great ways to stay connected and in touch. Seeing family and friends is an important part of many of our  lives, especially if we live alone – so seeing our loved one’s faces on a video call, whether that’s over Skype, Zoom, Facetime, WhatsApp, or any other video app, can help to simulate that feeling of being together. If your loved one doesn’t traditionally use technology, take this opportunity to show them how it works and how it can help them  keep in touch with friends and relatives.

At St Catherine’s we’ve introduced a new Telephone Buddy Service to help support you and your loved ones at home. This is a free service to support people under our care who may be feeling isolated, or who would benefit from talking to someone outside of their home. To be eligible for this support, you or the person you’re caring for must have been referred to St Catherine’s, and be under our care. For more information on our Telephone Buddy Service, please click here.

Connect with the online community

Social media is an excellent way of keeping us all connected. If your loved one is an active social media user, this is a great way to stay in contact with them. Whether that’s sharing photos and videos with each other, or having conversations and  commenting on their posts. Social media is a great way to be part of a community, stay connected and up to date with the lives of the ones we love. There’s also lots of great examples of kindness online to help you feel good!

Our St Catherine’s online community is also a source of great strength and companionship for our collective supporters. You can find us on Facebook here, Twitter here and Instagram hereWe’d love to hear from you!

Get creative

Putting together a special  care package can be a good way to show someone you’re thinking of them. You could get creative and make them some artwork, include pictures to reminisce great memories, include their favourite snack, some seeds to plant in the garden, a game they can enjoy, a magazine, or even a new piece of clothing. Include anything that you know will give them a little boost and help them to pass the time and stay occupied during self-isolation.

Sharing’s caring

Make sure you share your ideas on the ways you’re keeping entertained indoors with your family and friends. Send on cooking and baking ideas, things you’ve enjoyed reading, watching, playing or listening to. By sharing what you’ve been up to, you’ll  have more things to talk about when you catch up together.

Wave through the window

If you can ‘visit’ your loved one whilst following the government guidelines, perhaps on  your daily exercise route or if you live close by, you could greet them through their windows. You could wave, blow kisses, hold up a message, or talk to them on the phone while you’re outside. Seeing a familiar, friendly face will make their day.

Make future plans

Being optimistic and talking about future plans is a good way to lift spirits and stay positive. Whether it’s planning which restaurants you want to visit, the day trips you’ll make, or the people you want to see, noting down your future plans and sharing them with others will give you all something to look forward to.

It’s okay not to be okay

For many of us, it’s hard not seeing the people we love and it’s okay and normal to feel sad about it. Remember, this situation is out of everyone’s control but by staying apart, we’re showing our family and friends how much we love them by helping to reduce the risk of them getting coronavirus. If you’re feeling down, it may help you to talk to your relatives about how you’re feeling and suggest some ways  they can help.

Whether you’re living with a terminal illness, caring for someone or dealing with the loss of someone close, our hospice remains here for you, in a way that’s meaningful to you. For information on how our services can support you, please click here.