"Senior isolation is one of the biggest threats to the health of America’s seniors, while it remains among the most difficult to recognize. It’s a health risk not often discussed, but at least a quarter of seniors over 65 live with it. And its devastating effects can be felt physically, mentally and emotionally.”[i] Thus, it is important to address how your senior can stay in touch with family and friends when they are relocated to their new home.
I am going to assume that your loved one has some working knowledge of computers and cell phones. So in this blog, we will actually be addressing the apps that are available for electronic devices.
Living in the wealth of technology that we do in this day and age, there are a vast number of ways to communicate. Remember that staying in touch is a two-way street and both parties in the relationship need to be responsible for communication efforts. That said, why not make it habit to spend at least 15 minutes of your day communicating electronically?
By communicating electronically I mean make a phone call or send an email or a text, There’s also Facebook Messenger or Skype, both which allow you to have face-to-face communication. I’m also including Twitter (a news and social networking service) and Instagram (a photo and video-sharing app owned by Facebook) for those who are more device savvy and if not, then here is some help for that.
· “How to Use Skype” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S38e-t6rhKA
· “How to Use Facebook Messenger https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gvNpyt2oEdA
· “How to Use Twitter” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5jWNpLvdocU
· “How to Use Instagram” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Z4AEDyKGdI
All the above apps can be used to remember birthdays, holidays and such. Get a calendar for your family and friends special days and call, text or send a snail mail to them. If you think you’ve run out of reasons to contact someone, then anything that says “I’m thinking of you” is just fine.
Perhaps you enjoy the same TV show as your friend. You can make it a point to chat or text soon after the show to compare notes on the progress of the last episode. Maybe you and your friend can decide on the same book to read and compare notes on each other’s progress. How about an internet game you would be interested in sharing with a friend.
Staying in touch is not just for friends and family. Part of staying in touch is keeping up with what is going on around the world. There are even apps that can assist in helping your loved one keep an active mind.[ii]
Below I have listed several other apps that may be helpful to place on the desktop of your phone and/or computer: [iii]
Pillboxie - “reminds you to take medications at the scheduled times you set”
WebMD : “offers physician-reviewed health content”
Epicurious - “contains more than 30,000 recipes plus food topics”
Weather Channel - “constant updates on the day’s weather and what to expect in the forecast.”
Words with Friends - online Scrabble-type came with other players.
GOOD IDEA HERE '
Of course, electronic communication isn’t the only way to stay in touch.
Organize a get-together once a month for tea, crafts or just plain eating brunch.
For a change of pace from the electronics, why not get a nice set of note cards and a sheet of stamps and write to your friends via snail mail. This is especially nice if you are moving a distance from your friends and do not have the opportunity to periodically meet in person.
[i] Author, Landing. Senior Isolation: America's Quietest Health Risk, www.medicareadvantage.com/senior-isolation.
[ii] Kelley, Paul. “The Best Apps for Seniors to Keep an Active Mind.” The Best Apps for Seniors to Keep an Active Mind, blog.arborcompany.com/best-apps-for-seniors-to-keep-an-active-mind.
[iii] Kelley, Paul. “The Best Apps for Seniors to Keep an Active Mind.” The Best Apps for Seniors to Keep an Active Mind, blog.arborcompany.com/best-apps-for-seniors-to-keep-an-active-mind.