Communicating with loved ones is extremely important for each and every one of us. Human connection is a fundamental part of our lives and has been proven to translate into better social, emotional, mental and physical health outcomes. In current times, we have to get creative with how we communicate with one another to maintain a sense of connection if we cannot communicate face-to-face.
It is extremely important for seniors to stay connected especially while quarantining during the COVID-19 pandemic. We need to counterbalance great precautions with the risk of becoming socially isolated, especially for seniors. So what can seniors do to negate the potential effects of social isolation such as poorer health, well-being, and quality of life? Here come virtual interactions and communication!
We have put together a list of ways seniors can stay in touch with their loved ones online. Check this out and share it with a loved senior citizen in your life.
1. Face to screen!
There are plenty of free video platforms that allow you to see and speak with whomever you wish. FaceTime, Skype, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger are all great options for a free way to stay connected and simulate seeing each other face to face. There might be a slight learning curve if you haven’t used these platforms before, but this is a time to lean on someone close to you who can teach and walk you through the process if you experience any difficulty.
2. Grab an old-fashioned telephone.
Calling someone has been and will always be a timeless way to keep in touch. Make it a regular event and set times to call weekly or even daily if you would like. This is a great opportunity to make practical suggestions for each other, whether it’s sharing the new greatest delivery services, or creating a list of businesses with early openings for seniors and the disabled population.
3. Time to whip out some games!
Getting each other set up to play online games is a great way to communicate and have fun! Houseparty is an app for mobile devices and some web browsers such as Chrome allow multiple people to join a “houseparty” and play a handful of games such as Heads Up!, Quick Draw, and Trivia. Playingcards.io is another platform geared towards virtual card playing of all your favorite classic games such as Go Fish, Hearts or Crazy Eights. Want to keep it simple? Open up Zoom, FaceTime, or any other video platforms you use to play the physical board game of your choice with your favorite family member. Just make sure you both have the same game ahead of time!
4. Stay in the know.
Staying up to date online might not be as hard as you think. Social media sites including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are fantastic ways to stay in touch with your loved ones given they are active on those platforms. Other than social media, discussion groups are another great way to communicate with like-minded people even if your loved ones might not be found there. Who knows, maybe you’ll make a friend or two. Watching live concerts and plays with your loved ones online is another way to have a unique experience together in separate places. Great resources that allow people to purchase a subscription or ticket to a live show include BroadwayHD.com and Ontheboards.tv.
5. Send some classic, physical mail!
This is a great opportunity to get back to our roots in communication and practice our penmanship. Sending a physical letter or gift is a surprising way to keep in touch with loved ones, not to mention it’s a great way to reduce screen time. Plus, it gives you something to look forward to in the mail instead of only getting junk mail!
p.s. Don’t forget to include a picture!
Social distance does not have to lead to social isolation. We encourage you to get creative and stay in touch with your loved ones. If you do not know how to use any of the mentioned resources, we suggest to pick up the phone and get started that way. Need a little extra help figuring out some of the new virtual tech? Reach out to some of your more technologically inclined family members, we’re sure they’d love to help.
Here at Wise Hearing, you can stay in touch with us through phone, email, or messaging. We are happy to assist with any concerns you may have about your wellbeing during these trying times. Be well and stay safe.