Planning a Safe and Accessible Thanksgiving

We’re all living a new normal due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With Thanksgiving coming up, you may be unsure if you’ll be able to celebrate with your loved ones this year. Whether you live alone or with other people, there are still ways to celebrate Thanksgiving with your friends and family, even if you can’t be together in one place. From Zoom, FaceTime and Google Hangout video calls to a socially distanced, outdoor gathering in your backyard, here are some ideas of how you can celebrate the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday.

Virtual Family Gatherings

The great thing about 2020 is that even though we must practice social distancing and be apart from our family and friends, technology allows us to see our loves ones virtually! From FaceTime calls to Google Hangout sessions, it’s easy to set up video calls between you and your relatives. Even your older relatives can figure out how to use Zoom, you just might need to help them! Email your family to pick a day and time where you can all get online to video conference. If you have a family member that is hard of hearing, there are options for text-based chatting as well. The great thing about today’s video conferencing software is that many of them offer fun and silly features, such as emojis, virtual masks and hats and more! In a Zoom call, you can even change your background. It may be cold and chilly outside but your family and friends will see you on a warm, relaxing beach.

Socially Distanced Holiday Celebrations

If you live in a warmer climate, you may consider planning a socially distanced, outdoor gathering for Thanksgiving. To help make the experience safer for you and your guests, be sure to space everyone at least six feet apart. Instead of giving hugs or handshakes in greeting, try an elbow bump. Consider a buffet style setup where guests can serve themselves one at a time. Remind your guests to wash their hands often. To make it more fun, consider having some holiday-themed soaps on hand. Get more handwashing tips. Have hand sanitizer available, as well as single-use plates and silverware. It may be a lot of extra work but it’s important to stay safe when spending time with people outside of your household.

Plan a wheelchair-accessible, socially distanced gathering

Electric Wheelchair Accessible Gatherings

If you have friends or family who use electric wheelchairs for mobility, it’s important to consider them when planning your outdoor gathering. Make sure the spot where you are hosting the gathering is electric wheelchair accessible. If you use tablecloths, don’t let the tablecloths drag on the ground or they might become tangled in the wheel of a power wheelchair. Avoid blocking aisleways with decorations and make sure there is ample space for a wheelchair to fit around the outside of your table. Get more tips on planning an electric wheelchair-accessible gathering.


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