More than any other age group, seniors tend to feel lonely and isolated. Reasons for loneliness could be the loss of a spouse, children and grandchildren growing up and becoming too busy with their own lives, friends moving away, retirement, poor health and mobility, and financial insecurity. Older adults who are lonely and isolated may eventually find themselves facing emotional health issues like depression and anxiety, which can pose a risk for their physical health as well. Luckily, there are some things you can do to ensure your aging loved one is happy and fulfilled.
1. Find a Place to Meet New People
It’s never too late to meet new friends, so consider encouraging your loved one to get out and socialize. A local senior or community center is a great place to start. You can also look into local book clubs, gardening clubs, art classes, or sports like golf and tennis if your loved one is physically able to participate. If your loved one is religious, a church, synagogue, or other place of worship is also an excellent place to start. Attend a new social event with your loved one the first time so he or she feels comfortable checking it out.
For families living in Orlando, respite care can be a wonderful solution when their aging loved ones need companionship and socialization a few hours a week or just need minor assistance with daily household tasks. At Home Care Assistance, we thrive on helping seniors maintain their independence while living in the comfort of home.
2. Address Health Conditions that Prevent Socialization
Many seniors can’t drive because of impaired mobility or vision. If this is the case for your loved one, volunteer to provide rides or look into private or public transportation. If your loved one has mobility issues that prevent him or her from walking long distances, invest in a walker, cane, or wheelchair for social outings. Some seniors have difficulty with incontinence, which can be embarrassing in social settings. Talk to your loved one’s doctor about treating the underlying issue, and if that’s not possible, purchase some high-quality undergarments to keep the issue hidden.
If your loved one needs assistance with daily activities due to issues such as limited mobility, consider hiring a professional caregiver. Senior home care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.
3. Include Them in More Family Activities
From family vacations at the beach to nights out at the mall, consider inviting your loved one to join you on more family outings, and encourage other members of the family to do the same. It may take some extra effort, especially if your loved one has limited mobility or other health issues, but it will be well worth it. Your loved one will likely have a good time, and you’ll create memories that last forever. For housebound seniors, bring the fun to them in the form of a backyard barbecue or a family game or movie night.
4. Encourage Volunteering
One of the best ways to ease the feeling of loneliness is to do something nice for someone else. If your loved one enjoys helping others, seek out opportunities for your parent to volunteer in his or her community. Depending on your loved one’s interests and abilities, options might include walking dogs at a local shelter, helping kids at a local school or library, delivering meals to housebound people, or knitting blankets for babies in hospitals.
5. Suggest Getting a Pet
For some seniors, the need for companionship can be satisfied by simply adding a pet to the home. Just make sure the pet is suitable for your loved one based on what he or she can handle. A senior with mobility issues may not be able to walk a dog, but he or she can take care of an indoor cat or a bird. In some cases, you and other caregivers can help with the care and keeping of the pet.
Families shouldn’t have to worry about finding reliable senior care. Windermere Home Care Assistance is a leading provider of elderly home care. We offer a proprietary program called the Balanced Care Method, which uses holistic methods to promote senior health, our caregivers and Care Managers are available 24/7, and all of our in-home care services are backed with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Call one of our friendly Care Managers at (407) 232-7155 to schedule a free consultation.