Leah’s Journal: How to talk to your parents about socially distancing

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MADISON, Wis. — Hi folks – Leah Linscheid here, working from home this week and also calling my parents twice a day to make sure they’re staying home.

My mom and dad are both over the age of 65 – my father is in his 70s – so they are in that at-risk population of older adults when it comes to the coronavirus pandemic. I wanted to offer up some advice on how to talk to your own loved ones when it comes to the importance of socially distancing.

Get your facts straight. There is so much misinformation out there on social media right now. Don’t trust the “copy and paste” status that’s making its way around Facebook, and be wary of that second cousin of yours who swears she knows what she’s talking about when she says the illness isn’t serious. Get your information from reputable locations – local news (click here for our comprehensive coverage), newspapers, and straight from the healthcare professionals.

Talk in terms of actions, not just numbers. Don’t try to scare your loved ones with some of the looming facts and figures out there. Instead, offer concrete examples of ways they can protect themselves – forgoing unnecessary errands, washing their hands for 20 seconds or more, and trying not to touch their faces.

Explain what you’re doing. If just telling your parents what to do isn’t working, try instead to lead by example.

Do you have advice on how to have these conversations, or do you want to share your own experience during these unprecedented times? Send me an email at llinscheid@wisctv.com.

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