As we become older, isolation is something that is often brushed under the rug as being ‘just one of those things that happens’. But it doesn’t have to be. So, we came up with a few ways to help seniors stay connected with their loved ones no matter their living situation. The suggestions on this list apply to every senior because having a social connection is vital to all. Better yet, not every suggestion involves technology, so it’s perfect for those who are less technologically savvy.
This first one is perfect for seniors, no matter where they’re living. Of course, they’ll likely need some assistance from a friend or family member to set them up on their new cell phone. And don’t worry if your loved one isn’t keen on technology. So long as their eyesight is fair, and you have an appropriate cell phone with a clear screen and accessibility features, everybody can learn to do simple tasks like make a phone call or answer one. If they’re struggling, leave instructions to help. As much as some seniors may try to avoid technology, everybody can learn a new skill with enough practice and patience, and it’s a great way to stay connected.
Nothing beats in-person visits, so if you can, visit your loved one as often as possible. We know this isn’t always possible, but you should wherever it is safe and feasible for you to do so. It doesn’t matter where they reside, so visit as much as you like – there’s no better way to keep those family connections strong.
Apps For Video Calls
If you can’t be there, then you should at least feel there, and video calls are a great way to do this. Even if you set up a video calling app on their cell phone or laptop and only teach them how to answer calls, you’ll still be able to hold meaningful conversations. Set up a weekly call, and you’ll be helping your senior loved one keep up to date with everything, no matter where they are. Here are some excellent video calling options:
- Facebook Messenger
Smart speakers are a new, exciting piece of technology that can really help seniors beat isolation. If a loved one sets everything up for them, then all they need to do is speak to open up their world. They can make phone calls, video calls, send messages, and look at photos of their family, all with just a few words. You’ll have to teach them exactly what to say, but if you leave a few instructions for them on paper, they’ll be able to follow them without issue. Here are some fantastic options:
- Google Home
- Amazon ECHO
A great way to keep connections is by sharing hobbies with others. Whether it’s painting, pottery, gardening, literature, or anything else besides, hobbies can help seniors stay connected. If they are able, take them to weekly meetings with like-minded individuals or pick up the hobby yourself. Exploring new hobbies can be great for you as well as for them!
Make New Connections
Unfortunately, it’s easy as we age to allow isolation to become a part of our life. So often, it’s difficult to combat it, so we accept it. But encourage your loved one to make new connections. Whether it’s new friends, connections with staff where they reside or becoming friendly with whoever is helping them at home, building new relationships helps fend off isolation as well as holding on to old ones.
To learn more about In-Home Care and how Assisted and our team of compassionate caregivers can help your loved one feel connected and less isolated, call 800-949-6555 or visit us at www.AssistedCares.com.