5 Ways to Stay Connected During COVID-19

It’s no secret that personal connections have gotten more difficult during the pandemic, particularly for seniors. Families and friends may not be able or willing to visit in the same way they were before COVID-19 entered the landscape, or seniors may simply not be ready to have visits yet themselves. But despite the obstacles at hand, the lack of physical proximity does not mean that we have to be disconnected! There are so many tools at our disposal to get in touch with family and friends in unique and fun ways – you may even find that you learn something new about your loved ones as a result.

Call / Text

Let’s not forget about the power of a simple phone call (or text message). Something as simple as scheduling a weekly call with your senior family member can do wonders for both their mental health and your own. If you can’t schedule a set time every week, try to fit calls in on your way home from work or in between Zoom meetings, or send a quick text to your loved one to let them know that you are thinking about them. Sometimes just having that touch point can provide valuable peace of mind.

Zoom / Video Chats

Everyone seems to be on Zoom nowadays, and with good reason – there is actual science supporting the fact that “hopping on a Zoom meeting” can improve your overall mood differently than an activity without face-to-face time could. Video conferencing allows us to actually see the expressions of our loved ones’ faces while we talk, which in turn results in the brain releasing dopamine: “the feel-good chemical”. Instant mood-lifter!

Zoom meetings and other video chats can also provide a fun space to partake in activities together like you might if you were in the same room. Listen to music together, get everyone in your family to read the same book then host a book club meeting through Zoom, or go online shopping and have a Zoom fashion show with your friends. The possibilities are endless once you learn how to use the platform, so it’s a great opportunity to get creative with your loved ones!

If you don’t already have Zoom on your device, it’s available for free download on both iOS and Android.

MarcoPolo App

MarcoPolo is an excellent solution for connecting with people who may live in a different time zone, or with someone who may just have a schedule that doesn’t quite fit your own. You can send a private video, photo, or audio message to anyone in your phone’s contact list, then they can open and respond in the MarcoPolo app when they get the chance. You can even create a group where multiple contacts can communicate together, which makes it a perfect tool to connect families during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Unlike FaceTime or other video calls, there’s no need to use the app at the same time in order to access the video, and you don’t have to use any storage saving the videos to your device. You do have the option to save your favorite videos or messages however, which means even more opportunities to create and share long-lasting memories with your loved ones.

MarcoPolo is free, and available in the app store on iOS and on Android’s Google Play Store.

Social Media

Facebook and other social media networks like Instagram have awesome potential to increase communication and bring families closer together, but they do require a little more effort to get the same personal connections that we’re all missing right now. Sharing photos and videos to your timeline is a great way to make sure your family and friends and stay up to date, but there are also more direct contact features that often go overlooked. You can have a private conversation with someone through Messenger, create a Group for your family and/or friends, and even “Go Live” with just one other person if you want to (like a Zoom meeting)! Be sure to double-check your Privacy and Security settings in your account before anything else.

Snail Mail

Think about the joy you feel walking back from the mailbox knowing that someone took the time to send a letter or package, and the happiness you feel knowing that person was thinking of you. There’s something extra special about receiving a package or a letter in the mail, especially one that is unexpected. Take a little time to sit down and handwrite a letter to a senior family member or friend, or put together a simple care package with some of their favorite things. Even if you know they can get these items themselves, sometimes our favorite snacks can taste that much better when they’re packaged with love. You can even get really creative by mailing something back and forth, like a book of Madlibs or a sewing project that you can work on together!

Get Connected, Stay Connected!

There are no shortage of ways to stay connected during the COVID-19 pandemic regardless of where you’re living, especially with the love and assistance of our support systems. Our goal here at Edenwald is to work with seniors and their loved ones to ensure that our community provides the tools you need to keep in touch and maintain those strong connections. Whether that’s our IT department making sure that our residents computers are optimized for Zoom meetings, our Activities team hosting one-on-one technology trainings for residents, or Front Desk and Security staff making sure that resident mail is delivered safely and securely – our team is here to help!

To learn more about our senior living community and the many programs we offer, contact us today.