Talking to loved ones about the importance of staying home

Convincing your loved ones to stay home can be a challenge. Here are some tips on having a conversation about staying home and staying healthy.

Tell them why you are concerned

Ask them to put your mind at ease by adjusting their normal activities. Appeal to their desire to help. Try suggestions like, “I would be very happy if you ordered your groceries to be delivered instead of going to the store.”

Make it personal

Rather than explain the situation in numbers and statistics, talk about how their choices impact others. Put a face to the people who are affected by the coronavirus. Talk to them about the rewards of good choices they can make now. For example, “Staying home for the next few weeks means we can still go to the family reunion next year.”

Don’t blame

Avoid statements like “I can’t believe you went to the store,” or “What were you thinking?” Be empathetic and nonjudgmental by asking open-ended questions. Ask them what they are hearing and listen closely. If you can identify why they don’t want to stay home, you can offer alternatives or help them cope.

Find the right tone

Orders to stay home should be taken seriously. Avoid saying things that minimize the situation, like “I know this is only happening in other places…” or “It’s probably not that bad.” On the other hand, using catastrophic language can add to people’s anxiety. It’s more helpful to say “This will pass sooner if we all stay home,” than to say “I hope we all survive this.”

Teach them

This could be an opportunity to teach your loved ones how to use online food delivery services and chatting technology. Technology can help your loved ones stay home, have their needs met, and feel better.

Reassure them that they are not alone

In Washington and around the world, we are all in this together. Let them know that social distancing does not have to mean social isolation. Encourage them to go outside – as long as they stay 6 feet away from others. Help your loved ones write letters, email friends and family, and try video chatting.

Reassure them that you are there for them.

Stay home. Stay healthy.

Visit the Stay Home, Stay Healthy page for additional information to support your loved one.

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Flyers you can use

Articles about COVID-19 you can share with your loved one.