Happy elderly man connecting to family on computer video call

7 Fun Ways to Stay Connected with Friends & Family in a Retirement Home

Moving into a retirement home is an exciting new chapter of your life. However, one of the most important things to remember is to stay connected with your family and friends from before. 

In today’s blog, we’ll talk about ways you can stay in touch with loved ones while staying in a retirement home. 

1. Technology is Your Friend

Modern technology allows us to connect with one another seamlessly and more quickly than ever. 

There are plenty of great options to choose from:

  • Video calls: Skype, Zoom, Facetime, Google Meets, Signal, WhatsApp, or Microsoft Teams.
  • Social media platforms: Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, or Blogger.
  • Instant messaging apps: Signal, Viber, Messenger, Telegram, WhatsApp, WeChat. 
  • Email: Yahoo, Gmail, Outlook, or something else. 

Reach Out for Help

If you’re struggling with technology, ask for help. The retirement home staff can help you set up your laptop or whatever other device you need to stay connected to your loved ones. 

2. Schedule Regular Times to Talk

Time flies. Most people get sidetracked by the endless errands they have to run or various family- and work-related tasks they have to juggle. It’s fair to say: if it doesn’t get scheduled, it doesn’t get done. 

Set aside some time during the month or during the week to call friends and family. If they live close by, have them drop in, enjoy the retirement community’s local amenities, and talk. 

3. Attend Community, Group-Focused Events

Many retirement homes organize various events and activities, such as holiday celebrations, performances, or workshops. 

Invite your friends and family to join you at these events, which can be an excellent opportunity for them to get a sense of your new community and meet some of your new friends.

4. Write Letters

In the digital age, where most people are stuck on their phones or drowning in their email inboxes, receiving a handwritten letter or card is a unique experience and a pleasant surprise. Sending greeting cards for birthdays, holidays, and special occasions is a thoughtful gesture. 

Writing a letter is certainly more memorable than a general email. And it’s a great way to keep in touch with those you care about. 

5. Share Hobbies & Interests 

Nothing brings people together more than shared experiences and shared interests. Sports, games, music, or movies — whatever it may be, find something that you and other people enjoy, and bond over it. 

Here are a few ideas: 

  • Exchange books
  • Watch the same TV series or movies and talk about them later 
  • Work on crafts, puzzles, or online games simultaneously 
  • Join a weekly online meetup group 
  • Attend local, in-person meetup groups 

Whatever your interests are, there’s someone out there who shares them. Whether it’s a family member or a friend, with the help of technology, you can connect with them. Common hobbies and interests are a great way to anchor a relationship with others.

6. Create a Family Newsletter or Blog

If you know your way around technology, perhaps consider starting a newsletter or  blog. Share your updates, photos, and stories from your life inside the retirement home. It can be a fun, creative way to keep your family informed and connected to you. 

7. Join an Independent Living Community 

Independent living communities offer more opportunities to connect with others than 55+ communities, nursing homes, or assisted living centers. Why? 

It’s because independent living is purposefully designed to allow for more person-to-person interaction. This is thanks to a calendar of events and spacious, open areas where residents can gather to read books, worship, exercise, garden, or engage in a myriad of other creative activities. 

Conclusion: Why Connection Matters

Staying connected with others is a crucial part of emotional and mental health. Most studies show that prolonged loneliness is just as detrimental to health as smoking. 

Thankfully, there are some amazing solutions to offer. 

Remember to leverage technology, schedule times during the week for regular contact, and engage in shared interests. With this in mind, you can continue to nurture and support your loved ones. 

Stay Connected at Ivy Knoll Retirement Community in Covington, KY

Our independent living facility offers community, connection, and a vibrant atmosphere to retire in. Take a scheduled tour of your new home today!