Staying in touch with friends and loved ones during COVID-19 can help to lighten your mood and make you feel more connected to the outside world. The elderly can feel especially detached and lonely during this difficult time because they may have limited knowledge of technology. Below are some good ideas to help you and your loved ones stay connected and feel less isolated.
Purchase a User-Friendly Tablet for Seniors
Many seniors don’t have the savvy to set up the technology needed to stay connected with loved ones. Phone calls are always a great way to keep in touch. Hearing your voice can be comforting to your elderly family members. To create an even more personal experience, consider setting up a tablet for them with FaceTime or another social media service. To make it easy for them to use, create an easy format so that they can contact you with the touch of an icon. Being able to visibly connect with their family members can lift your loved one’s spirits tremendously.
There is even a device called GrandPad made especially for seniors. It is a simplified version of a tablet that comes equipped with large icons and added security features so that your loved one doesn’t inadvertently invite spammers to contact them.
If your elderly family member resides in an assisted living facility and has difficulty holding a device, a staff member is usually willing to assist them during a call. Just let them know in advance so they can prepare for the call.
Plan a Window Visit With Elderly Family Members
You can still connect personally with elderly loved ones by setting up a window visit. Plan a socially distanced visit with other family members at a specified time to wave and hold up signs of love and encouragement. If your loved one has access to an outside porch or deck, you could also consider placing a chair at a safe distance so that you can talk with them. Again, staff members can help to organize the event if you let them know in advance.
Send Letters and Cards in the Mail
Seniors love receiving mail. There is no better way to express your love than by sending them a card or a note of encouragement. These little acts of love can mean a great deal to someone dealing with loneliness and isolation.
Play Mobile Games
Online and mobile phone games are another great way to stay connected with your friends and family members who are tech savvy. The are dozens of phone games available to play with your loved ones.
Stay Connected With Your House of Worship
Many people, especially the elderly, can feel lost without a connection to their pastor and other members of their congregation. Because of this, many churches around the country have set up religious live streaming services. There is some great equipment available to help churches share their service with the public. Some of the features include:
- Livestreaming virtually anywhere that has internet access
- Recording sermons and music
- Connecting the congregation to the pastor and other congregation members
- Conducting church meetings with staff and volunteers
If your loved one has difficulty accessing live streaming services, YouTube also offers hundreds of church services for people to watch at their leisure. In addition, Zoom can virtually connect choir members to sing hymns and orchestras to play songs so that your loved one can watch and listen at any time.
Even during these difficult times, you can connect with your friends and loved ones. It just requires a little bit of creativity and commitment to make it work.