Connecting with family and friends, is crucial for our health, especially as we embrace a new year ahead.
Humans are pack animals. Our need for fellowship is quite literally hard-coded into our DNA. It’s so important, in fact, that it fuels our physical and psychological acuity and also directly supports healthy cognition.
We’re all too aware that 2020 has proven a challenging year. Less than a year ago, terms like “stay-at-home orders,” “shelter-in-place,” and “quarantine” weren’t part of our everyday vocabulary. Now, we operate in a “new normal.”
While we might not be able to hug, kiss, and gather just quite yet, we still have opportunities for connection.
Dr. Jennifer Wilson Binotti, PsyD, of Compassionate Neuropsychology LLC, specializes in neurocognitive disorders in seniors. Below, she offers her insights on how to redefine human connection:
We’re fortunate to live in a day and age where technology has made virtual connection more accessible than ever. Video platforms like Skype, Zoom and Facetime have become valued stand-ins for quality time spent together.
Better yet, these video chats have become more than just an opportunity to examine your own pores in the self-reflecting camera.
Since quarantine, people have found countless pass-times to enjoy together over video — from cooking together… to taking online classes… to revisiting favorite pastimes like knitting and scrapbooking… to playing games… to watching their favorite movies together.
Several companies, like Houseparty and Jackbox Games have also developed apps that can be used to turn Facetime into quality time.
“Old fashioned ways of communicating can be helpful, too,” says Binotti. “Why not write a card and drop it in the mail? Send a batch of pictures with stories on the back describing the event or occasion.”
As we say hello to the new year, many who usually turn their thoughts toward community service may be left wondering how to help during the pandemic.
Community involvement and volunteer opportunities are still available. Take the Walk to End Alzheimer’s as an example. Spectrum Retirement Communities across the country refused to miss participating in the annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s. And they raised $24,000 in the process! Read more about it here<link>.
The Community Connection
Among the many benefits of living in a senior living community is that community outreach, engagement and involvement are available every day.
“Broadening one’s circle of contacts with local groups and individuals can bring the variety that some people want and need,” says Binotti.
Side-by-Side, Six Feet Apart™
On any given day, Spectrum Retirement residents can be seen participating with friends and neighbors in a variety of activities to stay active and connected. From balcony bootcamps and courtyard yoga to patio music parties and Mother’s Day reinvented, residents have ample opportunity and a multitude of ways to connect.
With the new year ahead of us, remember: Just because you can’t be in the same room doesn’t mean you’re alone.