Seniors who stay connected to their families have better cognitive functions and a lower risk for developing dementia. However, due to growing work commitments and the pursuit of relationships with the people in school or at our workplace, drifting apart from our parents or siblings is simply nature at play. As family members mature and go about their own ways, extra effort has to be put in to remain connected with one another. Learn some great techniques for keeping in touch with family today!
Have Regular Conversations
According to John Northman, a psychologist based in Buffalo, it’s a well-known fact that connected people feel better not just physically, but emotionally. This is because they’re less likely to harbor feelings of depression.
Good family communication is grounded in plenty of research. Anita Vaneglisti, who teaches at the University of Texas, writes about the importance of a strong family support network in her ‘Handbook of Family Communication’. She argues that communication creates families and when family members continue to talk, they strengthen the bond of trust. Ultimately, Vangelisti explains that good communication among family members provides us with strong support.
Benefits of Keeping In Touch with Family
According to Vangelisti, family members can benefit from staying connected in five different ways. They can receive:
- tangible support in the form of cash assistance and care packages from family members.
- informational support in terms of having the know-how to do things that others may have done in a different familial situation.
- esteem support where family members make us feel good about ourselves or affirm our efforts when we’re doing well.
- emotional support when our family makes us feel better by sharing in our pleasant and difficult moments.
- network support that is akin to a sense of kinship and camaraderie, where you have a place to call yours, and you know that you’re accepted and will belong to no matter what happens.
Choose the Right Tool for Keeping In Touch
In our increasingly technological world, we have more ways to stay in touch than ever before. However, not all communication methods are equally effective and thus should be used with caution. Cell phones are a great way to stay in touch but at times, it can be difficult to keep a conversation going. Has someone you know gone incognito? Emails provide a fantastic platform for staying in touch over long distances, but this comes with its own set of concerns. As psychologist Arthur Bodin puts it, the content of your email can get notoriously misunderstood by the recipient because it lacks a tone of voice. Hence, as with anything, it’s about choosing the right tool at the right time for effective communication.
Good Family Communication Takes Continuous Effort
Psychologists state that we have two families in this world: our ‘family of procreation’ and our ‘family of orientation’. The former is the family we create while the latter is the one we are born into. Great communication is the cornerstone for keeping both ‘families’ intact and avoiding feelings of being hurt.
Rittenhouse Village At Muhlenberg is a senior living community that offers you endless opportunities to build a family from scratch while being surrounded by the gorgeous landscapes of rural Reading, Pennsylvania. Contact us to learn more about our senior living programs today!