You’ve transitioned to an independent living community or an assisted living arrangement somewhere new. You still have your old friends and family, but maybe they’re no longer in your neighborhood. 

Now here come the holidays and you’re worried about getting lost in the hubbub as your old friends and family enjoy their traditions without you. It’s a common concern.  

Fortunately, you live in the best time ever to keep friends and family close even when they’re far away. Here are 6 ideas you might not have considered. 

1. Enjoy New Traditions with New Friends 

All those opportunities for socializing with neighbors in your new community will pay off come holiday time. If you have been socializing, you probably know people who are facing the same predicament. Why not start a new tradition with them? 

2. Invite Folks to Your Place for a Pot Luck 

You can have your friends over without playing host. In fact, you don’t even have to do it in your home. You can rent a community room on Thanksgiving or Christmas Day, invite everyone to bring a dish appropriate to the holiday, and enjoy communion with old friends and new. Or, you can cook together as a group. Either way, you’re not doing all the work yourself. 

3. Organize a Volunteer Opportunity Together 

Serving meals together with friends at the local soup kitchen, visiting patients in a hospital or in hospice care, or doing a project that helps others can be spiritually uplifting, and can help you forget any loneliness you might feel. If your family joins you, focusing on others who have less than you is a great way to strengthen the bonds among you. 

4. Get with the Times and Follow Family on Social Media 

Keep up with the grandkids by following them on Instagram or Snapchat, or find your children on Facebook. It’s amazing how much of their lives people share on social media today—things you might not even hear about in a phone conversation or personal visit. A lot of older people are intimidated by social media, but it was all designed to be used by regular people. The only reason you don’t know how to use it is that you haven’t yet learned.  

5. Video Chat! 

For friends and family who are far away, there is now the alternative that allows you to talk to them and see them, almost as if you’re in the room together. Video chatting is easy to set up; in fact, most computers and laptops are already equipped with cameras and microphones. If yours isn’t, webcams cost 50 bucks at the local electronics store or on the web. 

6. Play Games with Them Online 

The Internet is awash with games that people can play online, like Words With Friends, the online Scrabble knockoff; or Splatoon, the cartoon-based ink-shooting game; or… well, literally thousands of others. You can even do it while video chatting, so you can trash talk your family or friends and watch their reactions while you play. 

It’s just easier than ever to keep up with those you love or start relationships with new friends, thanks to technology and communities for people like you.  

Nye Health Services offers seven communities in Eastern Nebraska and one in Wyoming structured to meet the needs of their residents from independent living to skilled nursing care. A family-owned company with a rich history of connecting with the people they serve, Nye Health Services is open for visits anytime. Call 402.753.1400 to make an appointment at a location in Fremont, Lincoln, South Sioux City, Norfolk, or Jackson Hole, or visit NyeHealthServices.com for more information.

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