I have been a resident at The Barrington for several years and I am a widow. I am happy here; never lonely, very safe, with friends and a caring staff.
Keeping in Touch with Family during COVID 19 Back
Family is one of the most important aspects of life to all ages, especially to those in the senior community. In fact, according to a recent study on aging conducted jointly by USA Today, United Healthcare, and the National Council on Aging, more than 50% of seniors over 60 ranked keeping up good relationships with family and close friends as the most important factor when considering the quality of their life. Keeping close relationships not only affects the quality of life, but can actually add to the quantity of years in your life.
Technology, for example, has exploded with ways to connect with people. The recent outbreak of COVID-19 has confined millions to their homes and caused a huge rise in the use of many social apps. The app that has seen the greatest rise in popularity is Zoom. Zoom is an easy-to-use app available on most mobile phones, computers, and tablets. This app allows you to connect visually with several people at the same time. Thousands of businesses have used Zoom to hold their meetings virtually, but it is also a great way to connect with family. Hundreds of extended families use Zoom to come together during holidays or for family celebrations like high school graduations and birthdays. If you use a computer to Zoom, you can see up to 9 people at a time on your screen. It’s a great way to talk and see each other!
If you’re only wanting to see one person at a time on a video chat, FaceTime or Skype are great phone apps for that. FaceTime is only available on Apple phones, but Skype works on several types of phones, computers, and tablets. Both are free apps and are user-friendly and easy to download. If you have family members overseas, WeChat is popular in other countries. In China, where apps like Facebook and Instagram are prohibited, WeChat is used almost exclusively to do everything from video chatting to texting to paying for goods and services.
For keeping up with family in between video chats, apps like Instagram or SnapChat are a fun way to see what loved ones are up to. Both are apps designed for quick pictures of everyday life. They differ from Facebook by cutting out most of the lengthy explanations and focusing on the pictures.
Online games can be another fun way for seniors to connect with family. There are several multiplayer games like Words With Friends, Boggle, Family Feud, or even Chess and Checkers, that allow you to play your turn when you have time, and then allows your family member to play at a time that’s convenient for them. These games can be a continuous way to connect with family throughout the day, keeping your relationship close AND keeping your brain sharp!
If apps and games aren’t your thing, there are still many ways to keep in touch! Schedule a weekly telephone call when it’s convenient for both of you. Having the time and day on the calendar makes it easier to connect more frequently by ensuring that you both will be available. You can use email and text, too. Several members of the senior community enjoy having a running email with a family member. This can be a fun way to keep a continuous conversation going, and seeing a new email come across your computer screen can be as exciting as seeing a letter come in the mail!
Don’t discount how happy your loved ones will be receiving a card or letter in the mail, though! It may even be more exciting to find something in the mailbox now that it’s becoming less common. You can simply sign your name to a fun card that you picked out, or you can write a diary of pages and start a pen-pal tradition with a distant family member. Writing letters to grandchildren can be especially exciting if you include something personal for them in the envelope. Make old-fashioned paper dolls for your granddaughter to color and play with, or include a blank piece of paper and instructions on how to fold a paper airplane for your grandson. There are many affordable ways to include “prizes” in your letter.
Keeping in touch with family is the main goal, so get creative with how you connect with your loved ones. All of these suggestions are easy and affordable, so give each a try and see what works for you. While spending time in person is definitely the ideal way to keep your relationship close, there are dozens of ways to be an important part of each other’s lives. Whether it’s an hours-long FaceTime video chat or a quick text just to say, “hello,” be sure to put in the time when it comes to keeping in touch if you want to have a long, happy life!
The first time I walked into the Barrington I had a very warm feeling. The entire staff is very caring and helpful. I enjoy all the activities and social events that we have. I really enjoy the food; our chef does a great job. I feel that there is something for everyone here to in enjoy here at The Barrington. I have made some wonderful friends with the residents and staff. The Barrington is a great place to live.
I came to the Barrington in 2009; this place saved my life. The room my daughter picked out for me overlooks the school and the children who go there. The trees and the surrounding grounds are beautiful. I love to walk outdoors and meditate. I also enjoy our trips to the beaches and parks. I am on the welcoming committee, serve at happy hour, and I go with the Marketing Team to do outreach. This is my home and the staff is my family.
The Barrington in Largo, FL, was recommended to us by A Place for Mom as an option for my parents. My wife and I visited The Barrington for a tour. We were greeted by Sherrie (Regional Supervisor, Tarantino Properties) for our visit. Sherrie was extremely knowledgeable & professional; a great representative for The Barrington. We also met Linda (Nurse Administrator) in order to describe the care needs required for my father. Linda was very understanding of my Dad’s needs and took the time to formulate a care plan for my father. Linda was extremely helpful with a great sense of humor. From the start, we were comfortable with The Barrington. The residents were happy, friendly and outgoing; we even spoke with a couple of them. We were provided with an overview of the facility (both assisted living & independent living) and walked the property. From the front desk staff to the caregivers, all personnel were professional, caring and friendly. Unlike the numerous other ALFs we visited in the Tampa, FL, area, The Barrington offers 1 bedroom apartments; not studios. This makes your “home” feel like HOME not just one room with a bathroom. The units even have small kitchens and screened covered lianas (porches). Very nice touch! The Barrington was very clean; very important to us and my parents. We knew from the time we walked in to The Barrington, this was the place for Mom & Dad. As a result, we scheduled a second visit for my parents to visit the property. My parents were pleasantly surprised with the beauty of the property; large facility surrounded by huge oak trees and even a swimming pool! If you have a vehicle, covered parking is provided; what a bonus. Again, we were greeted by Sherrie; she took the time to show my parents the grounds and treated us all to lunch. …..and a great lunch too! We met the chef and the food was really good. Our server, Jolene, was very personable and even though she did not know my parents, she joked with them and made them feel right at home. The Barrington has a Nurse Practitioner on site as well as a contractor providing on site physical therapy. My wife and I met all healthcare professionals and were pleased with all. How convenient; healthcare professionals on site and you don’t even have to get in the car to go anywhere. The Barrington has complimentary van service that meets everyone’s needs. In conclusion, The Barrington was the place we all decided would be “home” for Mom & Dad. My parents have been residents at The Barrington for about 1 month now and all is good. They have told me the residents are friendly and they like the staff. They have bragged how good the food is….very healthy options and if you don’t like healthy, then you can order a grilled cheese, hamburger or hot dog with onion rings. :o) Of course my parents are going through an adjustment but the staff at The Barrington have made Mom & Dad feel right at home. Since moving in, The Barrington continues to impress. On July 4, they had a cookout for the residents. They have happy hour one evening a week…..even took the residents to a local park for a picnic; also took the residents out for free slushy day offered by the 7-11 store. There is complimentary Wi-Fi offered in the lobby and basic cable tv (BrightHouse) is provided free of charge in each residents room. Bottom line – Mom & Dad’s home cannot be replaced but The Barrington is the next best thing.
I love it here. This place is just like next to heaven. It's as close as you can get.
I love it! Katie and Amber are so helpful and keep me involved. Everyone is so kind here. I love bingo. We have such sweet, sweet people working here. The food is outstanding too!
I love it here. Katie and Amber are the reason I love it here. You both are exactly why I love every day here.
There are just so many activities here that it's hard to choose what to do. I love the poker on Thursday nights. It's been an easy transition for me.
The people that work here are really nice and attentive. I like playing Scrabble and staying busy. Our walking club is really fun. I love being outside. Our walkway around the building is so nice. I always like when they come in and help me get ready for my day in the morning. The Parkinson's program is so nice to get my day started too.
I like the activities here. That's my favorite part. We painted bird houses and now they're in the courtyard. I love the entertainment here. The music is from the right era! I am really happy.