Communication and Connection with Seniors During Social Distancing

The human spirit is nurtured through communication and connection with others. Seniors benefit from socialization from the perspective of mental and physical health. Social distancing is preserving everyone’s health, but it’s important to find ways to continue communication and connection with senior loved ones, in safe ways.

Seniors are susceptible to loneliness and isolation, but in the age of technology there are ways to combat these feelings. In times like these, we must slow down our busy lives, to be able to find joy in the little things.

Sign Up for a Virtual Class

Have a skill or new hobby you’ve always wanted to try out? For seniors, the chance to start a new lesson is just a few clicks away. Several websites cover the basics of knitting, new recipes, and artistic techniques, and Youtube offers video tutorials for learning instruments, but some individuals really benefit from having an actual instructor.

Higher education has been swiftly moving online over the last decade, but what about casual skills and how-to classes? Thankfully, there is a website for just that type of material. GetSetup offers live online courses for subjects such as health and wellness, hiring and jobs, acquiring new skills, staying connected with technology, aging in place, and even business. There is something for everyone on GetSetup, and the connection associated with live instruction can really give seniors a virtual social outlet.

Turn Up Your Favorite Music

Sometimes we need quiet time for remaining at peace and getting a clear mind, but every now and then, music is something many of us need to feel uplifted. Music takes us away to a memory, a feeling, and a level of energy.

Simply hearing vocals and varying harmonies have been scientifically proven to improve mood, memory, relieve stress, and fight depression. Several music artists are also broadcasting live concert series online, on CurtainUp! and the NPR Tiny Desk Concert Series features a new prerecorded artist every week.

Give Meditation a Try

Meditation eases stress and clears the mind through breathing techniques and by shifting focus to sensations within the body. Mindfulness is preached in meditation as the way of achieving a level of contentment and ease through increased self-awareness. It can allow us to feel more comfortable with providing alone time for ourselves.

While it may seem difficult to be able to completely clear the mind, what meditation does to redirect thoughts is to promote simply focusing on the present moment. Worries and stressors are encouraged to be set aside. It can be done for as little as ten minutes, and online resources, such as HeadSpace, have step by step listening guides available to help get someone started. 

Revisit Old Memories

Taking out the old photo albums and revisiting older memories of good times with our friends and family can remind us how blessed we really are. Home videos and written cards we have saved over the years give us visuals to these loved ones who we care for so much.

Video calling allows us to connect with our loved ones in real time, but reminiscing old memories from a different time or favorite place can give us hope for when we can all make new ones together again. If you come across a set of especially heartwarming photos, email them to a family member so you can remember the good times together. Studies have found that nostalgia contributes to feeling less lonely, due to the reassurance of secure and stable relationships.

Engage in Remote Acts of Kindness

Being there for others and providing support and help can allow us to feel a greater sense of purpose. We are limited to being able to provide physical assistance and volunteer, but we can find other ways to lend a helping hand.

Many organizations are accepting donations through financial means, but food banks are also still in need of canned goods and pantry-type donations. Supporting a local restaurant that is closed to dine-in services by purchasing a gift card can also be a nice way to safely show support. 

We’re All In This Together

This pandemic has brought many challenges, but in the midst of it all, communities have found ways to stay connected and remind ourselves that the entire globe is in this together. Now more than ever, we rely on communication and showing love in the simplest ways we can. 

At The Kensington White Plains, we promise to love and care for your loved ones, as we do our very own. We value family involvement and have worked diligently to preserve the safety of our residents, staff, and their families as we observe the CDC’s recommendation of social distancing. 

Each day, we seek enjoyment and provide knowledgeable care to assist those with varying physical conditions, as well as levels of memory loss due to Alzheimer’s and dementia. If you’re looking for a community-centered on family values and expertise that will ensure the safety of your loved one, give us a call today.

Further Reading:

Memory loss is life changing for all involved. At The Kensington, we provide a state-of-the-art memory care program, a higher staff-to-resident ratio than industry standards, and more advanced care services. Our promise is to love and care for your family as we do our own.

For additional resources regarding your loved one’s condition, please read on about our Memory Care, Alzheimer’s Care and Dementia Care.

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