Older adults have a special need for meaningful social participation, as it plays an important role in their quality of life. Consistent social connection can help keep them in good physical, emotional, and mental shape. To ensure that seniors stay socially connected while managing their health needs, there are several steps that can be taken. Calling older loved ones several times a day is a great way to reduce feelings of social isolation. Spend time sharing stories, telling jokes, solving puzzles, playing simple games, or reading aloud with them.
If possible, take advantage of video calling applications such as FaceTime or Skype and chat with several family members on the same call. Hearing the voices of a loved one and seeing their faces will help to brighten up the day of your beloved senior. Voice-activated alerts, such as those from Amazon Alexa, can also help seniors stay safe and connected to their communities. These alerts can be used to remind them to take their medications, check in with family members, or even order groceries online. In addition to these technological solutions, seniors should also be encouraged to participate in meaningful activities that give them a sense of purpose. This could include completing a family project, volunteering to serve others, or challenging a friend to a game.
Social connection is also linked to a decreased risk of neurodegenerative diseases.