Community Blog

Are You Making Your Elderly Relative Lonelier?

By Mike Jackson

Everyone thrives when they have true friendship, meaningful social activities and strong emotional support. Elderly people still need strong connections with other people, even though it may be more difficult to sustain. Old age can lead to a reduced capacity to drive, physical limitations, illness, injury and more that makes it harder to stay socially involved.

Without assistance from family caregivers, senior care aides and others, many elderly people are isolated and very lonely. Every caregiver needs to ask themselves if they are responsible for making their elderly relative lonelier than they should be.

Independence and Dependence

Adults have a fair amount of independence and they can spend their free time pursuing any number of activities and social gatherings, from hobbies and dinner parties to milestone events and more. However, when people age, they are often limited by physical and mental side effects. They may lose their ability to drive, or be confined to a walker or wheelchair. They may wonder why nobody communicates with them while every family member connects with each other on social media. The more dependent they are, the more isolated they become.

Family caregivers play a big role in determining whether or not their elderly relative stays socially active or whether they take the easy route and stay at home around the clock.

Ways to Keep Elderly Relatives Socially Involved

Many elderly people that are dependent on family caregivers are at a loss to explain what they need as far as avoiding loneliness. Here are a few tips on what family caregivers can do to keep their elderly loved ones more socially involved and less isolated:

  • Provide them access to transportation, whether it’s giving them a ride, arranging with a senior care assistant for transportation, hiring a driving service or coordinating with other friends and family members.
  • Encourage the elderly person to host a gathering of friends, such as an afternoon tea, book club, movie nigh or garden party.
  • Help them look their best with regular hair appointments, proper grooming, well-fitting dentures and more so they are confident about being social.
  • Look into activities put on by the local senior center and let the elderly person pick which ones they’d like to attend.
  • Find a meetup group or community hobby club that matches the elderly person’s interests, such as model trains, knitting, cooking, gardening or books.
  • Locate opportunities for elderly relatives to volunteer in the community to the best of their capacity. Organizations that deal with literacy, hospice, animal shelters and more are always looking for help with all kinds of abilities.
  • Teach them how to stay in touch with others on social media and other communication devices because so many of their family members and friends are already there, just waiting to chat.
  • Give words of encouragement and understanding when they seem reluctant to get out there and be social. Sometimes it’s hard to break out of an isolated lifestyle, but with support, elderly people can find social groups to participate in.

Source:
https://psychcentral.com/lib/coping-with-loneliness-tips-for-seniors/

IF YOU OR AN AGING SENIOR ARE CONSIDERING SENIOR CARE IN MERIDIAN, ID, PLEASE CONTACT THE CARING STAFF AT HOME HELPERS HOME CARE OF BOISE. CALL US: (208) 322-2668.

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