How do seniors stay in touch? What are various ways the elderly can continue to interact with family, friends, and community? Living in a care home or residential care facility isn’t the end of your life; it’s streamlining your living.
Staying in touch with friends and family and making new connections is just as important now that you live in a care home as it was before. Of course, like any transition, it can be hard at first; that’s why it’s important to join social activities.
“In the 2010 CDC National Survey of Residential Care Facilities, 79% of surveyed facilities offered social and recreational activities outside the actual facility.” SeniorCare.com
Movie Nights With Friends or Family
Choose a night to watch a movie “together” — at the same time. You can stay on the phone without worrying about long-distance charges. You can even FaceTime or video chat over Zoom while you’re both watching some of the best Oscar films. If you watch one a week, you’ll have a year of movie dates with your sister, cousin, or mom.
Make New Friends with Knitting Circles
The Zoomers and Millenials don’t have a monopoly on arts and crafts. Boomers were doing macrame plant hangers and crotchet afghans before their parents were born.
The revival of the makers groups and arts & crafts means you can search on Meetup.com for some knitting or crafting groups that meet in person. Maybe your friend Daphne would like to join you – then you two have some structured activity on Wednesday mornings. That gives you both a lot to look forward to each week.
Play Online Games With Your Family
It’s normal for our friendship circles to naturally decrease. Some of it is because the children are grown and flown – convenience friendships are a reality. Sometimes our circles get smaller because we’re no longer working in the office. People get married, re-married, and move. It happens. Who’s the last person you played a good game of cards with? Are you single and not invited to game night anymore? The struggle is real.
Fortunately, we have online games that allow us to meet new people, stay connected to those who moved, and keep our brains stimulated. Scripps medical mentions Words With Friends and Game Apart but don’t rule out PlayStation, Xbox, or Occulus if you’re into Virtual Reality (VR).
“GameApart helps people play fun party games together via the combination of any video conference software and smartphone, and Words with Friends is a popular app to play a Scrabble-type game either with people you know, or be matched with a worthy competitor and make a new pal.” Scripps Medical Group
How do Seniors Stay Connected? Paper and Pen!
Whether you’re living in a residential care facility or at home, you can always reach out to your friends and family with paper and pen. We all get so much junk mail these days, that it’s an absolute delight to receive “paper mail.” The easiest way to start is to get a card box and divide them into 12 sections for months. We all get free cards from nonprofits doing their fundraising, so that shouldn’t be an issue – but even still, you can send out a lovely note or birthday card to your favorite people.
Don’t have their address? Ask them via phone, Facebook, or text message. Just tell them you want to do some letter writing and see how they respond. This will help you feel more connected and your friends and family will feel loved!
“Connecting with friends and family can mean writing a letter to our grandchild, biking to the park for a round of tennis, picking up the phone to call our sibling, walking to the bus stop for a shopping trip, or driving with friends to the next city – and meeting other friends.” Senior Life FYI