Social isolation is often a concern for elderly populations and can lead to mental and physical health declines. Younger family members may live far away and are often busy with their own lives, making it difficult to maintain relationships with their elders. Making an effort to keep these connections between family members from different generations is essential for everyone involved.
Support connection and communication between visits
It may be difficult for elders and younger relatives to connect and get to know one another, especially if they live far away or can’t see each other often. There are many ways to build relationships from a distance, which will also help comfort levels during visits.
Depending on children’s ages, there are various ways to help older family members keep up with their family’s lives. Some options include sending physical letters or packages, emails, video and phone calls, texts, and social media. If elderly loved ones don’t have social media, helping them set it up can be a fun activity to do together, leading to more connection later.
Make whichever forms of communication you choose a regular part of your routine, making it easier to stay consistent and giving everyone something to look forward to. This also helps those with dementia or various types of memory loss.
Make the most of your time together.
Just as it’s helpful to have a routine for communication, try to plan regular get-togethers as time and distance allow. It may be beneficial to have specific activities designed to prevent awkwardness or hesitation for these visits. Think about the shared interests and the abilities of all involved and try to find activities with more engagement, especially ones where you can talk and communicate while your hands are busy.
Some ideas for shared activities include:
- reading books
- cooking a family recipe
- looking at pictures
- create a family or life history book
- putting together puzzles
- playing board games
- teaching a skill or interest
If your aging loved one has specific mental or physical struggles, it is important to prepare younger children so they can understand potential limitations or unusual behavior.
CJ & Associates Care Consulting of Beverly Hills is here to help support you and your aging loved ones to connect and maintain strong relationships. For more information or to make an appointment to discuss senior care plans, contact us today!