Seniors can be hit with the harder impacts of isolation, with an increased risk of depression and anxiety. Social distancing has been the way of protecting the general public, but has its drawbacks on a mental health level. As humans, we value interaction with others.
Instead of being reminded of what we cannot do, we’ll dive into some of the things we can do. In order to stay connected with seniors during social distancing, you just have to get a little creative or realize what you already have in front of you.
The First Step: Finding an Online Tool
Most of us have smartphones, tablets, or computers with a camera. This is the first requirement before you can dive into the suggestions we list out later. Apple products already have the ability to Facetime one another, but what if you don’t have this brand?
Several platforms like Skype, Zoom, and Facebook Messenger Video Calls give anyone the option. These simply require the registration of a free account. A stable internet connection will be crucial to ensure the call doesn’t glitch out or run slow.
Host a Virtual Family Dinner or Happy Hour
Gather around the kitchen table and set the device in a spot where you can see one another. It’ll almost be like they’re sitting at the table with you! Make a dish that is a popular one among the family, and one that everyone can make. That way, it will be as though you’re even enjoying the same dish together at the same time. This could also be a fun opportunity for the grandkids to try to recreate a recipe that has typically been made by a well-practiced family member!
Happy Hours are also a great idea. Just grab a beverage, and you can rest assured it’s five o’clock somewhere. The best part is you actually save a bit of cash on hosting or paying the usual tab at your favorite drinkery.
Movie Night with the Family
With the platform NetflixParty, the ability to virtually host watch parties is now a reality. The only requirement is that you have Google Chrome, which is offered online as a browser extension.
Simply sync up your account and the screen of other viewers, and hit play! Want to be able to talk about the scenes and comment? There’s a chat option that allows for communication without disrupting the film or series.
Get a Senior Set Up with Online Classes
Yoga is offered online through virtual live classes with Omnipractice. With all skill levels offered with live instruction, this is a great and safe way for seniors to get started, or revisit their usual routine if the studio is closed.
GetSetup is also another website that offers access to learning a new lesson through live instruction. With topics ranging from aging, business, health and wellness, to how-tos, there is a subject for most seniors to find interest in learning more about.
Create Art Together
Set up a video call for a time when you and a senior would like to get creative. Chatting while painting is a fun way to be socially engaged and ease the mind. A relaxing task, such as making art, will relieve stress and lower levels of anxiety. Art therapy is known to help many individuals with cognitive and memory health as well.
If you have always wanted to learn your senior loved one’s art of knitting, perhaps they can show you how! It may be best to learn in person, but as long as the camera is positioned in a way to show the technique and steps, it’ll be as though your senior is the instructor for your own online course!
The Importance of Staying Connected
At Kensington Park, we continue to observe the CDC guidelines of social distancing and maintain the health and wellbeing of our residents and staff, we are working with families to keep them connected with their loved ones. Through platforms such as Slack, we’ve integrated a plan for giving them access to daily updates and keeping them in touch.
We are all in this together and must remain as closely connected to each other as ever, but just in a safe means. Technology is a great asset to have on our side which is why we provided these fun and simple ideas to help make video chatting more than just a call.
Our beautiful community is driven by a dedicated team catered to provide care for all levels of memory loss, as well as assisted living. We hold a promise to love and care for your loved ones as we do our own. If you want to learn more about how our senior care community makes itself stand apart, give us a call today.