Top 10 Ways to Stay Connected to Your Older Loved Ones During Quarantine

Senior couple using a laptop to communicate with friends and family.

With seniors at most risk to catch and become ill from Coronavirus, Lisa Cini, aging expert and author of BOOM: The Baby Boomers Guide to Leveraging Technology, so that you can Preserve Your Independent Lifestyle & Thrive provides her top tricks to stay connected to your loved ones at this time. “It’s much more than the occasional phone call,” says Cini. “There are so many options to both stay connected and feel loved during this time. What can seem divisive can often pull people closer together.”

Find Lisa’s top tips below:

  1. Set up check-in times that are convenient for everyone. You can do this with Skype, Facetime, Zoom, Loop, WhatsApp, & WeChat. If possible, do a video call as it’s better to see a smile and easier for those with hearing loss.
  2. Set up a group text with your family.  This is great fun and keeps you all connected and in the loop. 
  3. If they have a wellness device (Fitbit, Garmin, Apple watch, Kardia, etc.), share their wellness data, and set up alert notifications.  This will help to stop worrying and also give your loved one a nudge if they haven’t been active enough. 
  4. Set up a time to do a 10-minute group exercise, even if its only chair exercising.  It will help to keep the blood flowing, which improves brain function, reduces depression, and improves the immune system.
  5. Game together! Words with friends and online video games (AARP has tons) are great to show your competitive side. Games can be as simple as tic tac toe or building entire cities with Minecraft or doing a flight simulator. 
  6. Create a watch party for your favorite tv shows or movies and group text, video chat, or message on Facebook.
  7. Write a handwritten note or card. It’s not done much anymore, and it will remind them of a much simpler time beyond electronics. 
  8. Interview them with questions about their childhood and early 20’s. 
  9. No one wants to eat alone, so video chat during meals! Creating a virtual “family dining” experience where everyone can share their day, laugh, and reconnect is a great mood booster.
  10. Choose a book to read together and discuss it twice a week.