How the older generation can stay social during the virus outbreak


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It is without a doubt a strange and stressful time for all, we are all adjusting to this new reality of restricted movement, social distancing and not being able to spend as much time with our loved ones and that, of course, can lead to things like loneliness especially with the older generation.

I can't wait for my kids to hug their grandmother again and for me to have a proper conversation over coffee with my mother. Luckily however she shares her home with my older brother which means she has company which gives me a lot of peace of mind otherwise she would be on her own.

I'm made me think about how important it is to still stay social at any age, especially when you're over 50 and so I thought I would share a few ways we can do that and encourage our old family members to get involved.

A lot of people in their mid-40's upwards are very social media savvy and will already be using things like Facebook, Twitter and the like but if not here are a few more ideas.

Pick up the phone

I probably speak to my mother at least twice a day at the moment and it's those simple small ways to keeping in touch that really helps. I can see if she needs anything or share my worries and concerns and visa-versa. With most landlines and mobile phone contracts offering free minutes, now is the time to use them.

Use messenger services such as Whatsapp

Whatsapp is a great tool for keeping in touch with loved ones and it's easy for all ages to get a grasp of and is a bit of an all-in-one communication tool as you can use it to messenger, send photos, do video calls and even do free calls overseas, plus it's free to download. Other options for multi-facetime or video calls is Zoom and Skype. Doing a video call once or twice a week to loved ones can be a huge morale booster, especially for grandparents who are missing their grandkids.

Go for a walk

If your family members are fit and well and are not in a vulnerable group then they can still take advantage of the 1hr fitness time to go for a walk and get some fresh air, of course sticking to the guidelines of either being on their own or only with the members of their household and remembering social distancing rules. Staying fit and active is proven to lift your mood.

Take up some hobbies

We can all be using this time to enjoy the things we love such as reading a good book, learning how to cook a new dish, challenging ourselves with puzzles or things like Suduko or perhaps getting into gardening. Anything that is keeping your mind and body moving is a positive way to feel more social despite social distancing. You can also share what you're getting up to with friends on Facebook and other platforms you use and share your tips or gain some advice from others.

Lend a pet

Pet's can be a great comforter in times like these and maybe you have an older dog who just enjoys relaxing and short walks that you could lend to a family member who is isolated. Not only are pets emotionally supportive but keep us active and give a sense of purpose.

Go on a virtual date

As they say, life doesn't stop at 50 and many people at this age are still very socially active, enjoying eating out, meeting up with friends, going on dates and this can all be a massive adjustment for that to suddenly stop. So if you are over 50s dating then why not go on a virtual date and meet up with either your girlfriends doing a facetime with a nice meal or enjoying a quiz or maybe meeting someone new and trying to gain a new connection in these strange times, once again keeping it virtual and strickly social distancing.

The right support for loneliness

If you are concerned about an isolated family member, neighbour or friend during this time then make sure they have the right contact details to get in touch with the right support such as Age UK which helps to tackle loneliness in the UK and offers a check-in and chat service

We are all learning to adapt to this new normal, which will pass at some point but until then, even though we cannot be close to all of the ones we love right now there are still plenty of ways to stay in touch, stay social and let them know you care.


  1. Love to read a good article about real time situation...

    1. So glad to hear you enjoyed this article

      Laura x


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