Crazy times, we are living in, right? In one way, we have never been so socially distant, yet in another way, we are more connected than we have ever been.
What did we do before mobile phones, the internet, social media and messaging platforms?
IPX has made it possible for us to reach out to our friends and family anywhere on the globe. And Rich Communication Services (RCS) have made it possible to talk, text, film, watch and share, all at the same time.
But be mindful, this new techy world can be confusing and stressful to elderly Parents or Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles or Great Aunts and Great Uncles.
While awesome communication tools like Zoom, Skype and Microsoft Teams have been a lifesaver for Moms, Teachers, Business Owners and Colleagues at this time, I’ve found that many people over 60 have a hard time figuring out how to use them.
So the first thing you need to consider is which messaging platform is going to be simplest for your loved ones to operate.
Are they more comfortable using WhatsApp, Telegram or Facebook Messenger? Or have they only been able to make a phone call and receive an SMS up until now?
Once you’ve got your messaging platformed figured out, here are 5 ways to deepen your connection with your family during quarantine.
1. The Value of a Phone Call
Loneliness can lead to severe depression during lockdown. And most people over 55 are old-School – they would rather receive an actual phone call than a text or WhatsApp.
When you talk over the phone, your loved one is able to hear your tone of voice, they can feel your heart.
On a call, you’re also able to listen to them speaking. Your conversation with your elderly loved one may be the only conversation they are having today. Let them do most of the talking.
Never underestimate the power of active listening. People need to be heard.
Moms, I know it’s a juggle right now and your children need you. I’m also very aware that while ageing parents are encouraged to practice social distancing and stay away from their loved one’s, they need to hear from you now, more than ever before.
Grandparents also crave contact with their grandchildren. Hand the phone to your children as often as possible to keep this precious connection. That leaves you free to get on with the housework or your own work (if you work from home) and gives them valuable quality time together.
2. Video Call
If you want to go a step further than a phone call (and your elderly loved one’s mobile phone and data package can handle it), set up a video call on their favourite platform. I find WhatsApp easiest for this.
You could also create a lovely video of you and the family doing fun stuff and send that. Have a dance party or a pillow fight in your living room and send them the pics.
3. Send a Virtual Hug
Adding to the loneliness, our loved one’s are also missing physical touch.
This is a really good time to send plenty of your hug, kiss and heart emoji’s to your loved one’s. Facebook has introduced a gorgeous new “care” emoji that you can add as a “like” button on posts and comments.
There are also great gifs and images you can send as a virtual hug. If your Grandma loves cats or dogs, specify that when you’re searching for gifs and pics of hugs so you can find the perfect one for them.
Sharing inspirational posts you’ve found with your loved one’s is another way of sending a virtual hug.
4. Pray or Meditate Together
Many fears might be coming up for your parents and grandparents at this time. They may have lost friends and siblings or be in fear that they will fall sick and die.
As people get older, this fear can really dominate their thoughts, especially if they suffer from any illness or ailments or are in pain. Be sensitive to the fact that right now these fears will be heightened. This intensifies the loneliness.
If your loved ones are religious or spiritual and open to this, it’s really nice to form a prayer circle and pray with them. Or set a time to do a comforting reading with them.
I’ve taken great comfort personally from studying A Course in Miracles at this time. I’ve been reading out the lessons and recording them on Zoom for the last couple of months and my Mom has been following the lessons on YouTube. I figure if I’m only creating these videos for her benefit, it’s worth it.
Here’s one lesson, in particular, that may help your loved ones at this time.
5. The Power of Music
Music can really bring people together in a way nothing else can. Music has the power to inspire and uplift.
Record yourself or you and the kids singing Grandma or Grandpa’s favourite song and send the recording to them.
Or find an inspirational song online and forward it to them, maybe an audition on [insert their favourite country] Got Talent or a Gospel Choir like the Gaither’s singing one of their favourite hymns.
Over to You
How have you connected with your family and friends during quarantine? Have you been able to deepen your connection or do you feel your relationships are suffering and your elderly loved ones are slipping into depression?
This post was sponsored by Syniverse, the world’s biggest independent IPX service provider. Sponsored posts are one of the ways I earn money blogging. All opinions are my own.