Going away to college is one of the most exciting times of your life. You have a new sense of independence and you get to immerse yourself in a new city. However, it is important to keep your ties with home, after all, you might be returning at some point. Especially consider your elderly relatives who will want to know how you’re doing.
If your relatives are unwell or in a nursing home, this can also pose challenges. They might no longer be able to speak to you on the phone or read a letter. Some of the most prescribed drugs in nursing homes can leave people unable to do things that they once did. As a result, you might need to be creative with how you keep in touch.
Elderly people often feel isolated and depressed, so by keeping in touch with them, you will make them feel loved and valued. Furthermore, you can benefit from keeping in touch with your elderly relatives. They have a lot of life experience and things that they can teach you. You may just have to ask the right questions! Don’t miss out on the opportunity to enjoy their company and learn from them. Especially at this time in your life where you are going through lots of changes and becoming an adult.
Get help from relatives or care staff
Find out when your family is visiting and ask if they can phone you when they do. You could even utilize video chat so that you can see each other.
If you don’t have family visiting, you could also ask the staff at the home to phone you so that you can speak to them. This is usually something care staff can help with.
Visit when you’re home
When you come home you probably have lots of old friends to catch up with and things to do. However, remember that friends come and go and your elderly relatives won’t always be around. They will love that you have thought to visit them when you are home and you can create wonderful memories together.
Send a gift
You are a college student and probably have no money. It is understandable. However, a photo or a letter is a great way to show that you care and make your relative feel valued. If they are unable to read the letter themselves care staff or a relative can read it for you.
Teach them about technology
If they are well enough, consider teaching them how to use a smart device. You might have an old one lying about which you can give to them. This will allow you to talk to them whenever you like! WhatsApp could be an easy app to show them which will allow you to video chat with them.
Taking the time to teach them will be worth it as it could alleviate loneliness and boredom. You could even download some games for them and teach them how to play. It is good for elderly people to learn new things as it keeps their minds healthy.