When we’re young, it seems as though there’s an activity planned every weekend and plenty to do during the week as well. However, as people get older, loved ones move away, and other things in life take up our time, seniors can begin to feel lonely and isolated in their own homes.
The main problem with this is that loneliness can have serious adverse effects on an elderly person’s physical, mental, and emotional health. In order to combat these negative consequences and prevent senior loneliness, here are a few things you should consider.
How to Avoid Senior Isolation and Loneliness
Address Health Issues Early On
One of the main reasons seniors can fall into isolation is because of health-related issues. Things like incontinence and limited mobility can make them feel as though they can’t leave their house to avoid dealing with these issues in public. This may also occur if your loved one has vision or hearing problems, which could make them feel uncomfortable or unsafe venturing out on their own.
By addressing these issues through the use of medication, medical equipment, and a helping hand from a family member or caregiver, seniors can lead a more fulfilling life. Addressing such issues can help elderly adults live healthier and happier, with a sense of feeling more confident in leaving their homes and heading to social activities.
Create a Visiting Schedule
For some seniors with more serious health issues, such as a complete lack of mobility, it’s not possible for them to leave their homes as often. But that doesn’t mean they have to spend their days completely alone.
In cases such as these, it’s beneficial to create a visitation schedule so they see family members and friends regularly. Involve children, grandchildren, and close friends to ensure someone is going over your loved one’s home each or every other day. Even a few hours a day of chatting and quality time can help keep your senior safe from loneliness.
Encourage and Plan Social Activities
Sometimes, seniors can stay home simply because they’re not aware of what’s available to them outside. Take the initiative and look up some senior-friendly activities in your loved one’s area for them to participate in. These can include:
There are people who would love to help out those in their community so volunteer opportunities are the perfect chance to get your elderly loved one out of the house, involved, and social. There are often plenty of programs that will allow them to read to children at the libraries, feed the less fortunate in soup kitchens, or even care for babies in need at hospitals.
It’s always beneficial for seniors to engage in physical activities to maintain good health, so why not get them involved in an exercise class? Yoga, aerobics, swimming, and certain martial arts are all wonderful, low-impact activities that can keep them social and active.
Did your mother use to be a great dancer? See if there’s senior dance troupe in your area. Does Dad love classic cars? There’s bound to be a group that attends car shows in your area. By combining their hobbies ad interests in one, you can get them out of the house and socializing, and they may even make some new friends.
Consider Getting Them a Pet
There are countless benefits to owning a pet at any age, so if your loved one is up for it, consider adopting a pet for them. Not only will their pet provide them with love and companionship, but your senior will gain a sense of fulfillment caring for their new furry friend
Note: It’s often better for your elderly loved one to adopt a pet who is a bit older, as younger pets require more training and attention. However, if your loved one is able and willing, they may be excited about the challenge of raising a young pet.
Consider Hiring a Caregiver
If you think you could benefit from a bit of extra help in preventing senior loneliness, you may want to consider hiring a caregiver. He or she can spend time with your loved one, helping out with daily tasks, transporting them to activities, or simply sitting and chatting with your loved one.
At Homewatch CareGivers, we were founded on the idea that individuals should receive kind, compassionate, and qualified care tailored to their unique needs and in their preferred surroundings. Because of that, we train our professionals not just on high-quality care but on interpersonal relationships as well.Contact us today to learn more.