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Elderly Isolation: Words with Friends (etc.)

Welcome back to the Griswold Blog! As you may know, this is our second week of combating elderly isolation.

You’re online right now, so you know the social potential of the Internet. While it definitely has its dangers and drawbacks, when used correctly, it’s a wonderful opportunity to connect and interact. So why not extend this social opportunity to your loved one?

There are many online sites dedicated to the elderly. From chat rooms and online classes to emailing and video chatting with family in distant locations, the computer offers a wealth of ways for your loved one to interact with other seniors! He or she may be hesitant to dive into the online world, and that’s natural! It’s crucial not to overwhelm, so when you bring up this interactive idea, keep it simple. Don’t go into detail about every aspect of the Internet’s extensive capabilities, especially if you’re an expert yourself.

So decide what you want to show your loved one — show, don’t just telland take it one step at a time. Don’t introduce another topic until your loved one feels comfortable with the first. For example, show him or her how to email. Then, when he or she feels good about the process, move onto a chat room for seniors or a game.

Your loved one will get a lot out of mastering a few aspects of the Internet. Not only will he or she be actively combating isolation, but the “teaching sessions” you spend together will show you truly care. Plus, playing a game like Words With Friends with a grandchild is an excellent way to make an elderly person feel young and savvy.

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Do you play online games with your loved one? Which ones are your favorite?