Staying Connected with Friends
Loneliness, anxiety, and depression are on the rise with almost every age group. For older adults, who have always been at an increased risk of experiencing loneliness and isolation, it is important to make a more deliberate effort to stay in touch with friends and family. Social isolation and loneliness has been tied to a greater risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, depression and cognitive decline. It’s necessary to feel a connection and warmth, even from a distance. Here are some ideas:
- Pen pals: While taking a pen and putting your thoughts and feelings may feel old fashioned, it is a time honored tradition with roots that stretch back to the earliest records of human history. Going digital is an option to bring it to the modern era, sending emails back and forth with friends and colleagues can be just as rewarding, especially given that it can happen without a time delay.
- Schedule phone calls: Consider adding phone calls to friends and family to your agenda. While spontaneous calls are nice, scheduling them would help guarantee that your friend will be present and available to chat, and vice versa.
- Social media: When used properly, social media can be a great way to keep in contact with friends. You can search for people you may not have seen or spoken to in a while, and start conversations when it’s convenient for you.
- Online games: Apps are available to allow you to play games with your friends, like versions of scrabble, dominoes, or other fun and interactive games.