As the need to shelter at home continues, the need for connection grows more important for our mental, emotional and social well-being. Luckily, today staying connected with loved ones doesn’t mean you have to leave your home. We’ve discussed ways to stay healthy, happy and connected in these uncertain times. Now, let’s explore how to keep in touch with family and friends, and discover ways we can alleviate senior isolation together while remaining apart.
How to Keep in Touch with Family and Friends
A plethora of tools for virtual connection are at your disposal. You can use your desktop computer, laptop, smartphone and any tablet device to connect to loved ones almost instantly while social distancing. FaceTime, Skype, Zoom, WhatsApp, and Google Duo are some of the most popular and easiest to use video chat apps on the market today. While they’re not quite as intimate as physically being with someone, these video chat apps are a close second to help keep your social connections strong and reduce senior loneliness.
Stay Connected Together
Virtual connection is the greatest tool we have for avoiding senior isolation, in more ways than just chatting with loved ones. Engaging in group activities is also easy online, and this is one of the best options for reducing feelings of isolation and keeping your mind sharp.
Start a shared learning project – Learning new things is always easier when done with others. Together, you and your friends and family can learn a musical instrument, try new recipes in the kitchen, start a virtual book club, have a trivia night, create a group art project – the possibilities are endless.
Play games with each other – People all around the world are finding that online gaming provides a fun and engaging way to beat the quarantine blues for a little while. Among the multitude of online gaming options for video chats, Jackbox has become one of the most popular. Classic games like Scrabble, mahjong, chess and bingo are also available online and easy to use in a group chat. And if you aren’t comfortable playing games online, tried-and-true board games are easy to set up and play with friends over video chats.
Have a watch party – A positive of being cooped up at home is that you can finally watch the shows and movies you’ve been too busy to see. And it’s likely you’re not the only one catching up, so why not watch together? The Netflix Party app – available on Google Chrome – allows you to easily pick a movie or show and invite others to watch with you. Also keep in mind this time is a chance to introduce your children or grandchildren to classic movies from your youth.
Make the Most of Your Time at Home
It’s time to start thinking about this time at home as the perfect opportunity to take up a new hobby or learn a new skill. There are plenty of ways to continue learning virtually, either on your own or with others. Engage your mind and promote your own mental health with these brain-boosting suggestions:
Take a Masterclass – Nothing beats learning a new skill from those who have already mastered it. Masterclass is an online resource with hundreds of lessons taught by the most respected people in their fields. With a membership, you can learn cooking from Gordon Ramsay, comedy from Steve Martin, screenwriting from Ron Howard, and much more.
Learn new things on YouTube – Everything you’d ever want to learn can be found on YouTube. From cooking to visual arts to music to woodworking, there are many YouTube channels dedicated to lifelong learning. Check out this extensive list of educational YouTube pages to get you started.
Learn a foreign language – You finally have the time to learn a language you’ve always dreamed of speaking, and with the internet you can do it all on your own. Rosetta Stone is the most popular software for language learning today. But the options are many. Apps such as Babbel and Duolingo are other, less intensive options that provide a structured path to learning a foreign language.
Explore your roots – It’s an ideal time to make that family tree you’ve always wanted. Websites like Ancestry.com allow you to delve into your family’s history, discover your origins, and even connect with long-lost family members. You can take your own DNA sample, send it in to Ancestry.com and receive a full breakdown of where your ancestors came from. You may even come out of this pandemic with a whole new perspective on your family name.
Whatever method you choose for staying connected to your loved ones, all of us at The Buckingham want you to know we’re here for you. If there is any way we can assist you or your loved ones during this time, please contact us through our website or call us at 713-979-3090.