National Pen Pal Day

June 1st – National Pen Pal Day and the Importance of Communication with Aging Adults

Not everyone understands the importance of communication, especially in the realm of aging adults and their wellbeing. According to the article “” Why It’s Important to Have Regular Communication in Senior Communities””, “Regular communication with loved ones helps seniors stay connected, feel supported and reduces feelings of loneliness,” (Senior Lifestyle). This can help lessen the risk of isolation and loneliness in aging adults , leading them away from other potential mental health issues. This demonstrates how important communication is, but how do we communicate in different ways with our aging adults?  

Many aging adults do not have smartphones or are unfamiliar with texting, so calling them is often a more effective way to communicate. This is an effective way to communicate with them and is very important. However, another way to communicate with aging adults is by becoming their pen pals! This is as simple as finding a pen and paper and writing them a letter. The small act of mailing them something personal that they can hold onto and cherish can help their risk of loneliness too.  

Pen pals also give the aging adults something to do and allow them to wake up and have something to do in their home. This helps them get out of bed and adds to their daily routine, allowing them to lower their risks for depression and other mental health issues. The article “” Pen Pals for Seniors: Benefits of Staying Connected”” says, “…will help your older ones exercise their mind. After all, recounting daily events in a letter is a surefire way to keep the mind sharp and fit. In essence, mentally stimulating activities, like reading and writing, boost the brain’s cognitive function,” (Seasons Retirement Communities). As this quote demonstrates, becoming pen pals with your loved one can help improve their cognitive function and help mentally stimulate them.  

  

Sources:  

  1. https://www.seniorlifestyle.com/resources/blog/communication-in-senior-communities/#:~:text=Better%20emotional%20well%2Dbeing%3A%20Seniors,and%20reduces%20feelings%20of%20loneliness.
  2. 2. https://seasonsretirement.com/pen-pals-for-seniors-benefits/#:~:text=Becoming%20a%20part%20of%20senior,boost%20the%20brain’s%20cognitive%20function.