The benefits of social connection are enormous. Sharing strong social connections with friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers can strengthen your immune system. Plus, they help you recover from disease faster and even extend your lifespan.
A lack of social connection carries the same risk of premature death as maintaining an unhealthy diet, smoking, and alcohol abuse. That’s why it’s more important than ever to stay connected in old age.
Sadly, many people believe that life in an assisted living community must be lonely. This couldn’t be further from the truth. An assisted living residence is filled with peers who can enjoy spending time together over conversation, games, movies and other shared activities. Likewise, the community’s staff are as eager to make friends as they are to do their actual jobs.
But no relationships are as important as those shared by family. That’s why it’s crucial to stay connected to your loved ones no matter your age. Fortunately, the Digital Age has made it easy to keep in touch regardless of whether you or your loved one lives in an assisted living facility!
Schedule Regular Phone Calls
It’s so simple that many people overlook it. Though, scheduling regular phone calls is still a great way to keep in touch with loved ones. People who regularly lose themselves in phone conversations experience reduced feelings of depression and anxiety, and following a routine can have several mental health benefits in and of itself.
Stay in Touch by Texting
Instantly communicating with loved ones fosters a strong sense of social connection, and receiving even the shortest text can make a marked improvement on anyone’s mood. If a senior doesn’t care for typing on a small screen, they can consider using the screen reader or text-to-speech functions on their smartphones – or, alternatively, use a computer to send and receive texts.
Connect Over Video Calls
Just looking at any face can help keep the mind active, as it stimulates the brain to trigger memory-making activity. But there’s no more beautiful sight in the world than the face of someone you love. Now that everyone carries a video phone in their pocket, it’s easier than ever to meet face to face over distances of thousands of miles. And don’t forget: Video calls are the best (and only) way for infants to interact with faraway relatives!
Get creative with your video calls and they’ll always stay fresh. You can share a virtual dinner table together, watch the same movie on any streaming service together, or attend the same streaming religious service together. You can even read bedtime stories to grandchildren if you both have the same picture book in hand!
Send Cards and Letters
Sending a card or letter always feels special – if only because so very few people do it these days. Seniors who are averse to technology are still fond of letters, and you never need a special occasion to send someone a pretty greeting card. If you would really like to perform a grace, consider starting a correspondence with a lonely resident who shares your loved one’s long-term care facility.
Send Care Packages
Even if a care package contains only one thing – and however trivial that thing might be – it’s sure to brighten up its recipient’s day on arrival. Don’t have time to put together and ship out a gift basket? Services like Postmates and DoorDash are a great way to send a special something to a special someone when you want to let them know you’re thinking about them.
Visit in Person
As nice as calls, letters and care packages can be, nothing substitutes for an in-person visit. Even if you’re just passing through your loved one’s neighborhood and could only make a short visit, try to carve that little bit of time out of your busy day. That visit will automatically become the most important thing you do all day.
If you would like to learn more about how an assisted living community helps its residents to stay socially connected, then we welcome you to contact Morgan Lane Village in Tea, South Dakota today!