Residents in a senior living facility may often feel lonely, especially during the pandemic when visitors are limited or even prohibited in some areas. Missing family and friends, their homes, or even their independence can be difficult.
Here are six ways to help combat loneliness in a senior living facility and support your loved ones.
1. Make frequent calls and keep them updated on family matters.
If you aren’t able to visit your loved one, a phone call is a great way to talk about what’s been happening in your lives and catch up on any missed news or events. If they have video features on their phone, such as Facetime or Zoom, you can video chat once a week or set up a regular schedule where you can update them with any important information. Hearing your voice and seeing your face is sure to brighten their day.
2. Send them care packages.
If your loved one enjoys crafting, doing puzzles, or reading, you can send them a box of activities they can do on their own. These can be craft kits, puzzle books or sets, their favorite book series, or an embroidery kit. Additionally, you could send self-care kits that include their favorite lotions, perfumes/colognes, and maybe throw in some of their favorite candies or treats.
3. Send photos or videos of loved ones.
Providing your loved one with photos of family members and friends is sure to make their day brighter. If they’re missing their family or friends, they can look at the photos and play through the memories they had together. Having these photos also reminds them of those who care about them. Something like a collage or a digital photo album might be a nice gift to send them to keep in their rooms.
4. Host virtual gatherings.
Hosting virtual dinners or parties on Zoom or FaceTime can be a great way to socialize, catch up, and celebrate events or holidays together. You can host weekly game or movie nights so you can give your loved one something fun to look forward to. You could have the board on the table and have your loved one tell you where to move their piece or which card to pick, or you could play a virtual game if they are more tech-savvy.
5. Visit outside their window with the family.
A great way to see your loved one if you aren’t allowed inside the senior living facility is to gather outside. You can stand in a place where they will be able to see you out the window. You can talk with them, sing songs together, or even share jokes and laughs. This will be sure to lift their spirits, as well as yours!
6. Listen to their fears and struggles.
Telling someone about their feelings can help seniors feel like they are seen and heard. Especially if that someone is a loved one. They may not think to talk about these things with you, so you can always provide that space for them by asking them how they are doing, what they might be struggling with, if there’s anything you can do for them, and how you might help ease their fears.
There are plenty of ways to keep your loved one connected to you and the family while they are living in a senior living facility. If you are considering a community for your loved one, Welcome Home Senior Services & Placement Company can provide you with options that will be comfortable for them and that fit within your budget and needs. Contact us today to start the conversation about the next steps in your loved one’s journey.