When compared to serious health issues that many seniors encounter, feeling lonely may not seem as serious. However, isolation and loneliness can have a significant effect on an elderly adult’s quality of life and make a real impact on their overall health and wellness. Studies show that isolation and loneliness peaks in the late 80s, so seniors who are dependent on family caregivers for their daily needs are prime candidates for chronic loneliness.
There are many benefits to keeping seniors socially involved and connected to different groups, from family and friends to the community at large. Family caregivers need to have a plan in place for ensuring their aging relative has the ability and the means to get out of the house and socialize. Many families find that hiring elder care providers gives everyone what they need most.
Factors that Contribute to Senior Loneliness
There are several factors that contribute to senior loneliness and most of them have to do with health and wellness. When physical health problems happen to seniors, such as a stroke, Parkinson’s disease, arthritis or other age-related illness, it can significantly impair their ability to be social. Aging adults with serious physical limitations are usually no longer able to drive themselves places, further contributing to their isolation.
Other factors that impact an elderly person’s ability to stay connected is that their social circles have changed significantly. Since they are many years past retirement in their late 80s, many of their old friendships and work relationships may have faded. Their adult children and adult grandchildren are busy with lives of their own, and often don’t have time for frequent visits. Tragically, an elderly person may also have lost a spouse, siblings and friends in recent years, making them feel even more isolated and alone. Because most of these issues are out of the aging adult’s control, it’s up to the family caregiver to assist them in overcoming their loneliness.
How Elder Care Providers Challenge Loneliness in Seniors
One of the most effective ways that family caregivers can combat loneliness in their elderly loved ones is to hire an elder care provider. These trained professionals can help seniors out with whatever they need at home, from cleaning and meal preparation to dressing. They are also excellent companions who know just what aging adults need to stay mentally and physically engaged.
Elder care providers can spend time with the aging adult when they would otherwise be alone. From playing card or board games to watching television together, an elder care provider will quickly form a friendship that alleviates the loneliness that many seniors face. They are also able to transport the aging adult to do errands, attend community events, visit friends, attend worship services and eat at a favorite restaurant.
For elderly adults that want to be more social but cannot do it on their own, elder care providers can act as companions who facilitate social interaction. Family caregivers should see the benefits of this arrangement in the smile on their aging loved one’s face as they feel happy and fulfilled instead of lonely and isolated.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring elder care in Los Gatos, CA, please contact the caring staff at Home Helpers today (408) 259-5930.