How You Can Help Older Adults Stay Connected

How You Can Help Older Adults Stay Connected

Getting Started

Many older adults live by themselves. They might be older family members, friends, or neighbors. No matter what their age or ability, even the smallest of things can help older adults feel connected to the people in their lives.

Here are some ideas to help older adults stay connected.

  • Let them know you're thinking of them.

    Stop by or call just to say hi. Send them a letter in the mail or a quick text message or email. Include photos of what you're up to. No matter how you do it, they'll appreciate hearing from you.

  • Encourage them to find others with similar interests.

    Ask them what they like to do. Maybe they enjoy reading and could join a book club. Or they might like to cook for a group of friends. Or maybe they really like spending time with their grandkids. Try helping them find a group with similar interests or encourage them to set one up themselves.

  • Spend time with them outdoors.

    Try going for a walk or sitting outside together. Fresh air and a change in scenery can give you both a new way to connect.

  • Share stories.

    Some older adults may enjoy reliving past experiences and having a chance to pass on some words of wisdom. Older adults have a lot to teach. You never know what you'll find in those old stories. Share some of your stories with them too.

  • Start a conversation by asking what you can do to help.

    This gives you a chance to ask how they're doing and if they need anything. You might see if they need something from the store. Or maybe they could use help with yard work.

  • Create opportunities to share.

    If you like cooking and baking, make extra to share. Try doing a book, movie, or game swap. Better yet, take movies and games over to enjoy with them.

  • Offer to help them set up video calling.

    This can keep them feeling connected, even if they're far away. Help them find a user-friendly app. Then walk them through setting it up and using it. Keep in mind that the app you recommend for them may not be the app that you usually use.

Credits

Current as of: June 16, 2021

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
JoLynn Montgomery PA - Family Medicine & Heather Quinn MD - Family Medicine

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