Writing letters by hand may be an old-fashioned form of communication to some, but there's many reasons to bring it back! Not only are there health benefits tied to letter writing, but it can also be a fun and enjoyable pastime for you and your aging loved one to share together, on top of giving you intimate mementos you can return to, again and again. Check out our guide on why you should be your senior loved one's pen pal.
Why bring back snail mail? The most straightforward answer is that it's fun. Writing to and reading from your pen pal senior will help strengthen your relationship. A letter enables you to connect with people on a personal level, more than a text or email. Studies show that it also helps abate feelings of loneliness and promotes creating fulfilling relationships. Reading letters from your senior loved one will help you understand them better.
One of the best benefits of becoming a snail mail pen pal is it improves your physical and mental health. And not just for your loved one, but for you as well! According to Forbes, writing is good for your brain and helps normalize feelings by writing them down, which in turn relieves stress. In general, reading also prevents cognitive decline. The longer the letter, the healthier! So write your heart out. Another article touches on the physical perks that writing aids with stiff joints and fine motor skills can help arthritic hands.
A fun part of writing letters is that they become a tangible statement of your relationship with your loved one. You can revisit the letters to read great advice, funny anecdotes, or shared memories from your senior pen pal. You can create a scrapbook or memory board with envelopes, pen-pal correspondence, and photos. Whether the scrapbook is for you or is a gift for your senior loved one, it serves as a touching memento of the cherished bond between you two.
Pen pals help seniors feel less lonely while connecting with their loved ones. And you feel closer to them! There are multiple emotional, physical, and mental benefits to writing snail mail. The real question is, why haven't you started writing yet? If you're looking for fun and engaging ways to interact with your loved one, check out the Brightwater Senior Living blog for more.