You no longer have to wait by the mailbox to hear from your pen pal. Today’s budding friendships are beginning on Zoom!
Wayne State University and a senior living community in Michigan are pairing residents and students in a new form of connection. Professor Patricia Morton, who heads up the program, says advancing technology serves two purposes. One, weekly communication with a pen pal defuses social isolation, prevalent in senior communities, especially during the pandemic.
Students at the university who are enrolled in Aging and the Life Course are benefiting from the cross-generational connections. They get a chance to grasp how a person’s life-history shapes the trajectory of their life course. It turns out to be a win-win for all parties involved.
One of the program’s upside is the new friendships that may continue after the course ends. Also, socializing for seniors positively affects mental and physical health, whether in person or online.
The best part is that you don’t have to find a postage stamp to participate in this pen pal program.