How Pen Pals for Seniors Can Ease Feelings of Isolation

In this article...
  • Building meaningful connections is an important part of enjoying the golden years. Learn how keeping a pen pal can enrich the quality of life for seniors.

Across the country, senior care facilities and senior centers are creating programs to provide pen pals for seniors. Whether they connect with peers in their own age groups, adults from another generation or school-aged children, sharing letters and stories with another person can help seniors feel a greater sense of connection and reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation for those living alone or in long-term care facilities. 

The Mental Health Benefits of Letter Writing

A report published by the Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Language and Literacy points to the many benefits of writing, which can include enhancing one's focus and cognitive skills, as well as reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety. When corresponding with another person via letter writing, seniors can also feel a strong sense of connection that may lead to an overall improvement in happiness and well-being.

Finding Pen Pals for Seniors

Whether you're a senior in search of a new pen pal or you're looking to become a pen pal for seniors, there are a number of ways to go about it. As a senior, a good place to start is by speaking to the staff at your residence if you're in long-term care, or by visiting your local senior center to organize a social media campaign in search of pen pals. Many senior living facilities and senior centers across the U.S. have been taking part in this trend, helping to connect seniors with individuals who have similar interests.

A quick Google search can also provide a variety of resources that are designed to connect senior citizens with pen pals of all ages. Many are city or state-specific, while others are geared toward connecting seniors with peers or those who keep the same hobbies and interests. These resources can include forums that seniors can sign up for, putting out the call for a new pen pal, as well as agencies that can make the connection between seniors and those interested in correspondence.