As a senior citizen, maintaining social connections and friendships can be difficult for a variety of reasons. This can be particularly true if you drive less frequently or don’t get out as much as you did in the past. This often results in feeling isolated and lonely. It doesn’t have to be that way.
There are so many ways to stay connected with the people that you know. Cell phones created specifically for seniors are a great way to enhance and strengthen current friendships and to establish new friendships. Cell phones can also help you stay connected to family.
Ways to Enhance and Strengthen Current Friendships Using Cell Phones
- Start a daily group text: Every morning send an uplifting quote or message to a small group of friends. This small act will start everyone’s day off with a positive frame of mind. It also encourages communication. It lets your current friends know that they are important to you and that you want to stay connected.
- Join a Facebook group: Look for groups that are interesting to you, like a retiree group or a group that has similar interests as you. This type of group can be engaging and offer communication and interactions that are often inspiring.
- Ask friends to meet up: Use your cell phone to schedule regular weekly meetings at a nearby park or meetings for lunch with current friends. Or you could ask friends to meet for a walk at the mall.
- Start a weekly meal get-together: Each week, you and your friends can use your cell phones to research and find new meals to prepare together. Everyone can pitch in to bring ingredients and put the meal together. Then you all get to enjoy and critique the meal, adding what you would do differently to prepare it the next time. What a wonderful way to strengthen bonds with friends, don’t you think?
- Check Groupon: Text or talk with your current friends to find inexpensive ways to engage in fun and enjoyable things together. You can get a massage, go to an escape room, take a tour bus together, take a cooking or art class together, or find outdoor activities.
These types of social interactions will keep you connected with friends while also keeping you active. This will keep your mind active in a positive way as well. It is important to intentionally engage in self-care so that you stay healthy, both mentally and physically.
Ways to Establish New Friendships Using Cell Phones
- Ask current friends to invite others: When you schedule meet-ups with current friends, encourage them to invite one of their neighbors or other friends. This is a great way to meet new people.
- Take a class: Check online with your local Parks ; Recreation Center for activities for senior citizens. Your local library will likely have activities geared towards seniors as well. This is another great way to meet new people.
- Search events nearby: Facebook provides an Events Nearby page where you can find new and interesting things to do in your area. You can also Google “things to do near me” to discover new adventures.
- Take up a hobby: Start with things that interest you and search the internet in order to find new ideas for hobbies. Join a group of people interested in the same hobby. Hobbies are an important way to add positive value to your day-to-day life. Stay engaged with living your best life, which involves doing things you love to do and finding new ways to enjoy yourself.
Ways to Stay Connected to Family Using Cell Phones
Many times seniors feel disconnected from family because of the difference in communication styles between generations. However, texting with your children and grandchildren can be a fun way to bridge that gap. It only takes 30 seconds to text your grandchild before they leave for school in the morning to wish them a good day. You can text them when they arrive home to ask about their day. Soon they will begin texting you about other things. Texting can offer a quicker, easier way to communicate with loved ones, and it takes the pressure out of maintaining a conversation through a phone call.
You can send funny pictures to family members. This often results in a multitude of funny pictures being sent back and forth throughout the day. It provides connection, laughter, and overall good feelings for everyone involved. This provides a fabulous way to combat feelings of loneliness. Cell phones for seniors can offer a positive way to be involved in the everyday lives of family members, no matter where they live.
For seniors who would rather talk on the phone, there are video calling tools available that provide the benefit of seeing the person on the other end of the call. It has the face-to-face feeling, which can offer a greater feeling of connection for both parties.
Ways that Family Can Help Seniors Combat Loneliness
If your parent is a senior and you are worried about feelings of isolation and loneliness, include them in light-hearted texts throughout the week. Let them know that you are thinking of them.
You can play the “remember when” game through text message. Simply think of a great memory with your senior loved one, and text it to them. Begin the text with, “remember when” and then fill in the memory afterwards. This helps your loved one access positive memories, which will result in elevating their mood. It is important for seniors to engage in positive thoughts so that the avoid feelings of loneliness.
Another way to assist senior loved ones is to plan regular visits if you live nearby. Regular visits help senior loved ones stay engaged and feel less lonely. When you plan a visit, put the planned visit on a calendar, such as Google calendar, and send it to their cell phone.
If you don’t live nearby, there are many ways to stay connected through the use of a cell phone. At the end of every day, send a text to your loved one asking this simple question: What was the best thing that happened to you today? This prompts your loved one to think about all of the good things about their day in order for them to choose the best thing about it. This, in turn, puts them in a positive frame of mind before bedtime. What an awesome way to help your loved one stay positive, isn’t it?