Senior citizens should try to connect with other people as often as possible. Seniors who aren’t in touch with family members can suffer from depression and lower cognitive function. Nowadays, you can communicate with your loved ones without waiting for letters to arrive in the mailboxes. There are many ways to stay in touch with family members and friends. Here are a few different ways to keep your loves connected and foster positive relations with family and friends.

Phone Calls – Phone calls are still the most common form of long-distance communication. Cell phones are becoming more popular among seniors. However, if your elderly parent lives in an assisted living facility or nursing home, they might need help using a cellphone. A caregiver could teach them how to operate a cellphone.

Game Night – Whether you can plan an in-person game night or play together online. This is a great way to keep your senior connected and involved.  Today there are also a variety of classic board games that have been adapted into apps or online games. Although they may require some initial setup, this is a fun way to remain connected even if you do not live near your elder.

Social Media – Social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram offer opportunities to stay in contact with those who matter most to you. It may take some extra teaching and setup to help your senior navigate social media, but this is another excellent way to keep them connected. You can share photos, videos, and news updates about yourself and your family.

Video Chats – Video calling is an easy way to keep your loved one connected with friends and family. Older adults who use smartphones can easily communicate with others using FaceTime or Google Hangouts. There is also the option for your senior to video chat from their computer through skype or zoom. These have become even more popular with the inability to meet in person. Even events such as birthday parties, weddings, and baby showers can be hosted virtually. This is a great way to keep your loved one connected, especially if they are located in a different state or city and limited by their inability to find elder transportation.

Email – Email has become one of the most basic forms of communication. If you don’t already know how to send emails, it’s time to learn. Many email services now allow you to create multiple accounts.

These are just a few ways to keep your senior connected and engaged with family and friends. The best thing you can do is provide your loved one with the tools necessary to maintain their independence.