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Seniors In Assisted Living Save The Art Of Letter Writing

According to the United States Postal Service, mail volume is projected to fall to 150 billion in 2020, representing a 37 percent decline in first class mail alone. Revenue contributed by first class mail will decline from its current 51 percent to about 35 percent by 2020. In order to close the gap on a projected $238 billion shortfall during the next 10 years, the USPS has proposed an aggressive plan to cut costs that includes a possible rate increase in 2011 and canceling Saturday mail delivery. Postmaster General John E. Potter said the plan, known as “Ensuring a Viable Postal Service for America,” could save the USPS as much as $123 billion.

There are a number of reasons for the decline in “snail mail,” as it has come to be known. Most people do their banking and pay bills online, merchants advertise on the Internet, people read magazines and newspapers on the publisher’s online version, and bury themselves in entire novels using cellular networks on electronic devices such as Kindle. A bittersweet reason the snail mail volume is down is perhaps because many people no longer exchange personal letters these days.
Most of us have become so addicted to instant communication that the very idea of writing someone a letter seems as ancient as an eight track tape. Even the speed of text messages and emails isn’t fast enough for some people, giving rise to a host of abbreviations that emanate the codes of a secret society.

letter by *CoverMeInGasoline on deviantART

Whether we realize it or not, there is a great danger in the loss of the letter writing as an art. The handwritten letter is personal because it requires more thought, more time, and some creativity.
Many seniors who have come to recognize the benefits of being tech savvy still seem to enjoy exchanging letters with family members or old friends. Assisted living residents, children, those lonely and isolated as well as baby boomers enjoy receiving letters. My letter writing exchange has dwindled down to having only one genuine pen pal, a sister who lives in another city. Both of us are computer savvy and regularly exchange emails, but they are short and lack some of the insight we scribe in our hand written letters. Somehow, they feel more intimate and private.

After sending my pen pal a letter, I look forward to opening the mailbox and finding her return mail where she comments on what I wrote and gives me new insight into what is going on in her life.
Enjoying the art of letter writing does not diminish the value of technology, which I often times think our society, myself included, could not live without. Between work and home, a normal day includes a good nine or ten hours sitting in front of a computer screen. The Internet consistently amazes by providing valuable information instantly at the keystrokes of my fingertips.
There is hardly a more convenient, faster way of relating and documenting information than in an email. Texting from our cell phones also has its benefits especially if done in a setting where confidentiality is an issue.

Facebook wall posts and Tweets are quick ways of sharing information with “friends” or “followers,” even if you don’t really know them. The negative of Twitter is that it can become a one way street of communication, if with hesitation, I might call it that. Fellow tweeters only see your updates if he or she chooses to follow you. Whatever social network you use to transmit short bits of information such as telling the world that you’re eating a bologna sandwich, standing in line at the DMV, or watching your neighbor through the window as they pick up dog doo off your front lawn, the results are not likely to carry much sentimental, or even informational weight.

There is a definite irony as I type an article that people I have never met will read on the Internet. It is not likely that it will be printed or filed away for perusing again later. It is likely however, that if read, it will be along with hundreds of others throughout the course of a day. Although most embrace the value of technology, it is burdensome knowing that we may become the first generation in history to leave no written record of ourselves. Children may never learn cursive handwriting, no one will find him or herself in a museum standing five Plexiglas inches away from a document like the Magna Carta and people may never experience the joy of plopping down on the couch and reading a letter from a loved one.

800Seniors.com is a leading referral system in the Elderly Healthcare industry. We are located on 5400 Atlantis Court, Moorpark, California 93021. 800Seniors.com provides the perfect match between seniors searching for health care provisions such as Home Care, Home Health, Skilled Nursing, Hospice Care, Medical Supplies, as well as a variety of Assisted Living Chicago and Care Homes nationwide. Take the confusion and hassle out of the search. For more information call 1-800-768-8221, visit http://800seniors.com or fax us your details at (805)517-1623.

About The Author: Gloria Ha’o Schneider is an expert in senior citizen and baby boomer issues. Her topics revolve around Senior Living and Healthcare to provide the latest information to this demographic as well as their families and loved ones.

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