Being isolated from friends and family is a common concern seniors have when moving into an assisted living community. In reality, living in a vibrant community actually makes it less likely you'll feel isolated. The staff at ViewPointe make it a priority to schedule a variety of fun activities so residents with all types of interests can engage with each other and make new friends. And, you're always welcome to have family and friends visit you in the community.
If your grandkids are living far away from you and can't visit regularly, speaking to them via phone or video conference can be the next best thing. But small children — and even some teens — are not always adept at navigating phone conversations. Here are a few tips for talking to your grandkids on the phone.
These are going to be hit and miss, so don't feel slighted if a young child chooses not to talk to you. They may be caught up in an exciting new discovery, such as the fact that grass is everywhere outside. Just try again another day.
It may be best to plan ahead with the parent of the child to call at specific times during the day or week. The parent can let the child know you'll be calling so they can be excited about receiving their own call.
Toddlers are only going to talk for a few minutes (or sometimes seconds) on average, so don't expect a long conversation. Instead, keep it simply and just let them get used to hearing your voice on the phone.
Elementary-aged children may be the easiest to talk to on the phone for some. They are able to carry a short conversation easily and likely have something to tell you about their day. Again, be prepared that if something exciting is going on, they may not want to talk on the phone. It's also a good idea to have some questions ready, such as "Tell me something you did at school today" to prompt a discussion. Avoid yes or no questions.
How well your conversation goes with teenagers depends on their personality and your relationship with them. Some teens will steer the conversation and talk for long periods without any problems. Others may be awkward on the phone or answer in monosyllables. It's a good idea to have questions prepared ahead of time. If you know the teenager has an interest, try to become involved in it too; you might watch a show they like so you can discuss it with them, for example.
No matter how old your grandkids are, consistency is key. If you call once a week, keep it up, even if they go through spells where they are less likely to talk.