Helping you maintain your connections

by KinCare — 9 September 2020

The COVID-19 crisis has changed the way we all live, with current advice in some states to stay home and avoid being out in the community where possible. Maintaining meaningful relationships that can help you lead a happier and healthier life can be difficult at the moment. We want to assure you that KinCare is here to support you if you are experiencing loneliness or feeling disconnected from your family and friends. Now, more than ever, it’s important to stay connected.

By our very nature, humans are social creatures. Right from birth we crave interactions to survive and thrive. As babies, skin-to-skin touch, eye contact and communication are all vital for development. This need for connection continues throughout our lifetime. As we grow up, the relationships we form – and the quality of those interactions – can help us lead happy, healthy and long lives.

Despite growing awareness about the value of companionship, most of us will experience loneliness or isolation at some point in our lives. Sadly, however, the current global health crisis means more of us are experiencing these feelings.

According to some studies, social isolation and loneliness can have a negative impact on your health and wellbeing, while positive connections can raise self-esteem and contribute to good overall health. Some experts report that loneliness can be as harmful to one’s health as smoking, obesity and high blood pressure.

On the flip side however, research has also shown that it doesn’t take much to reverse some of the negative impacts of loneliness. A casual conversation or even the smallest of interactions can make a big difference to somebody who may be experiencing isolation or loneliness.

If you are experiencing feelings of loneliness or you see signs of social isolation or loneliness in another person, there is lots of support available and some simple ways to reach out to others – without even leaving your home.

Throughout the Coronavirus crisis, KinCare has introduced new services and programs to help Customers stay connected, while staying home. Whether it’s fun activities to keep you entertained or educational sessions to stay informed, we have something for everyone.

Ways to combat loneliness during isolation

    • Join an online interest group or book club: Exploring a new activity or interest is a great way to meet new people and feel connected to a community.
    • Take part in our Virtual Connections and Social Support groups: These provide one-on-one and group activities to suit different social needs. Individual activities include support to create your own photo books or recipe books, while group activities include virtual trivia and bingo. Contact your KinCare Customer Care Manager to find out more about joining these fun activities.
    • Participate in our Virtual Education and Information Sessions: These offer the chance to learn about important topics such as resilience, preventing falls, keeping your brain active and pain management with experts from the KinCare team. The 1-hour sessions will run fortnightly until November. If you would like to join call 1300 733 510.
    • Access Let’s Connect to get online: Whether you want to connect with your grandchildren through social media or play online scrabble with friends, through this social technology programme, we will support you by providing practical advice and technical support every step of the way.
    • Reconnect with old friends via video calls or social media: It’s easy to lose touch with friends or family members. Reach out to old acquaintances or family and reminisce about the good ol’ days.
    • Schedule a regular phone chat with a friend: Making a small effort can have big rewards for your health and wellbeing.
    • Write to a pen pal: There are lots of benefits to having a pen pal from building relationships to sharing stories.
    • Adopt a pet: Pets make great companions and can help you build social connections. They are also good for your physical and mental health.
    • Talk to others about feeling lonely: You may be surprised to find others around you are also feeling isolated and all it takes is a small conversation to brighten someone else’s day.

As we age, it’s easy to think that friendships and social interactions will become difficult to maintain with the loss of independence, mobility and other factors. Yet nurturing meaningful connections can be one of the best ways to look after your health and wellbeing. Talk to KinCare today about how we can support you to stay connected and lead a healthier, happier life during this challenging time.