Tips for Homebound Seniors to Stay Connected
While we’ve all had to adjust to staying at home more during the pandemic and experience a lack of in-person socializing, for retired seniors — especially those who don’t drive or may stay home due to being immunocompromised — experiencing isolation and loneliness can be a common part of everyday life.
If you are a homebound senior who spends a lot of time alone, or you have a special friend or family member who may be in a similar situation, here are some ways for seniors to stay connected from home.
For over 45 years, the Institute on Aging has offered this line for adults 60 years and older who are in need of friendly conversation. Their goal is to make sure that even if someone lives alone, they never feel alone. Learn more at their website here.
Who doesn’t love getting something fun in the mail? Buy, or make, cards or pretty stationary and write a letter, quick note, or inspirational quotes and send it to an old friend or family member. You may find your mailbox soon bursting with replies! There are also many programs connecting seniors with pen pals sponsored by nursing homes or senior groups; do an internet search to find a program to safely make a new friend!
Online Family/Friend Reunions
Thanks to free video conference software like Zoom, Google Meet, FaceTime, Skype and many others, it’s easy to use the internet to see and speak to friends and family. Set up a time and send out an invite to gather your people and reconnect. While necessity may establish these routines during COVID-19, everyone may enjoy them so much that frequent video chats may become a regular event!
Virtual Concerts & Events
One of the positive things to come from quarantine is attractions pivoting to offer virtual tours. Now, you can tour the finest museums in the world all from your living room! For something closer to home, visit the San Diego Zoo virtually by accessing one of their wonderful camera feeds to watch animals in real time. A quick internet search will also help you find online concerts, wine tastings, dance classes, plays, and so much more! Do these activities with friends over video software, or even if you do them alone, it will still help you feel part of the larger world and make you forget for a bit that you are still at home
Play Games Online
Seniors looking to connect with friends or family can participate in an online game night! There are many internet-based games that can be easily played via smartphone or over video chat. GameApart helps people play fun party games together via the combination of any video conference software and smartphone, and Words with Friends is a popular app to play a Scrabble-type game either with people you know, or be matched with a worthy competitor and make a new pal.
Staying connected to people and events outside the home is so important for combating loneliness and helping improve one’s mental well-being. For more tips on healthy living, visit our resources at scrippsamg.com.