Many aging adults live alone because their children have grown up and their spouses have passed away. In addition, most seniors are retired, and many of their friends and former coworkers have moved on with their lives and haven’t stayed in close contact. Loneliness is something most people experience at some point in their lives, but for the elderly, being lonely can become an all-encompassing emotion that can diminish quality of life and even affect other areas of their health. In fact, studies show seniors who are lonely experience a higher risk of depression, heart disease, diabetes, and even some forms of cancer.
As important as it is to ensure your aging parent has the support he or she needs, the topic can be difficult to discuss, with many seniors too embarrassed or proud to admit they need help. Fortunately, there are many ways to show support for your loved one and encourage him or her to become more engaged with the outside world. Here’s how to help seniors overcome loneliness.
Research Local Activities
Companionship for your loved one could be as close as his or her very own neighborhood. Many communities have senior care centers that host a variety of different activities specifically for seniors, ranging from art classes to water aerobics. The local library is another great option for book clubs, and many community colleges offer opportunities for continuing education. If your loved one is hesitant to take advantage of these local resources, encourage him or her to at least give them a chance. They offer great opportunities to connect with other people and build social networks. Participating in these activities can renew your loved one’s sense of purpose and also provide a social outlet to reduce feelings of loneliness and depression
Family caregivers may not always be able to accompany their loved ones to local activities and social events because of other commitments. Senior 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.
Involve the Entire Family
Consider having a younger relative or grandchild teach your loved one how to use the Internet, which serves the dual purpose of forming a bridge between generations and enabling your loved one to keep in touch and even make new friends online. Whether through email, social media, or video chats, aging adults can connect with the outside world through technology easily and conveniently. Also, include your loved one in family activities as often as possible. For example, invite him or her if you’re going out for dinner. Something as simple as sharing a meal could give your parent something to look forward to.
Loneliness is just one of a number of difficult situations your loved one could be living with. Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality senior home care. Kingwood families trust Home Care Assistance to help their elderly loved ones age in place safely and comfortably.
Enlist the Help of Others
Reach out to friends and family and encourage them to make phone calls, send texts, or drop off meals for your parent in their spare time. Small acts of kindness like these can help seniors feel loved and appreciated. If it’s difficult for your loved one to get out of the house, you may even want to consider hiring a home caregiver. A professional caregiver can provide your loved one with companionship and also engage him or her in fun activities, both at home and on the go. From playing board games together to touring local museums, enjoying shared activities often leads caregivers and seniors to form lasting bonds, and caregivers can ensure safety and comfort for their aging clients.
For families living in Kingwood, 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. If you need compassionate professional home care for your loved one, call one of our friendly Care Managers today at 832-412-1345