As our loved ones age, they may begin to feel more lonely and isolated than they ever have before in their life. Feelings of isolation and loneliness are not uncommon in the elderly, particularly as their friends and family members begin to pass away, leaving them to deal with the grief of losing decades-long companions. The following guide will help you understand more about why your elderly loved ones may feel lonely and what you can do to help them avoid this feeling as they get older.
Negative Effects of Senior Loneliness and Isolation
It is not uncommon for elderly loved ones to begin feeling lonely and isolated, especially if they are not as capable of getting around on their own as they used to be. They may feel isolated because they can only see friends, family and other people when they come to their home, rather than being able to visit people when they want or head to local stores, restaurants or other places where they used to socialize. Whether they are living at home with in-home care or they are living in an assisted living facility, it can be easy for your elderly loved one to feel alone.
Feelings of loneliness and isolation can have negative consequences for seniors. These feelings can increase the chances for developing depression, anxiety, problems with memory and concentration; and it can even impact their health, since senior isolation is associated with higher chances of sleep disorders, and even high blood pressure which increases chances of strokes, heart attacks and other problems.
How to Help Your Loved Ones Avoid Feeling Lonely
It is very important that you help your elderly loved ones to feel less lonely, whether they are living at home or in an assisted living home. Thankfully, helping your loved ones feel less lonely is not difficult as long as you are willing to dedicate some time and effort into combating loneliness.
Schedule regular visits
It is important for elderly loved ones to have physical visits from their friends and family. Having conversations in person, eating a meal or having a drink together, even simply enjoying some quiet time together can all help combat feelings of loneliness.
If possible, consider opting into a daily phone call at a set time. This will give your elderly loved one something to look forward to while showing them that they are important enough in your life to warrant some time set aside every day just for them.
Help them get out socializing
Socialization is vital for people who are elderly, but it can become difficult as they get older due to limited mobility, inability to drive or simply a lack of chances to socialize. You can help combat this by looking for senior groups, taking them out to restaurants to meet friends, and so on.
Consider hiring in-home caregivers
Knowing that someone will be there with your loved one on a set schedule not only gives you peace of mind, but also gives them something to look forward to. Caregivers help with daily tasks such as cooking, shopping, medication reminders, bathing, and most importantly companionship. Caregivers will go for walks with their clients and also play games to socialize with them but to also keep their minds sharp and active. There are so many benefits for having a caregiver in the home, with one of them being to help alleviate loneliness.
If you want to help your elderly loved ones avoid feeling lonely as they age, consider the above ways to help them feel connected to others and the world around them.
For more information, please contact Homewatch CareGivers of Northwest Tampa today.