Loneliness is common among seniors and isn’t something that should be overlooked. It can be caused by many factors as one ages including limited transportation, a decrease in relationships with friends and family, and physical changes such as incontinence or lack of vision and hearing.
Many seniors who experience one or more of the factors above may feel alone, but luckily there are ways to help your loved one beat loneliness. The below tips are a few ideas to get you started:
1) Continue Normal Activities – Helping your loved one continue their normal activities is a key way to help them avoid loneliness or isolation. If they loved gardening before, but now have physical restraints that make it more difficult, perhaps set them up with a small garden to work on periodically (whether indoors or outdoors). Or, if your loved one regularly attended church services, but can’t drive to them anymore, contact your loved one’s place of worship to inquire about home visitation services.
2) Coordinate Transportation – Give your loved one the option to travel by providing a means of transportation. If a loved one is unable to drive, we understand it can be impossible to rely on one person to drive them everywhere they might like to go. Arranging transportation for your loved one, without putting all of the effort on you or someone else, is possible. Look into community transportation or ask friends and family if they would be able to take turns driving your loved one. Getting your loved one out and about can make a world of difference.
3) Make New Friends – The feeling of loneliness your loved one may encounter as they age can be put into perspective if you can remind them that they aren’t the only one going through it. There are many people in the same situation. Why not find ways to connect those people so they can lean on one another? A few ideas can be for your loved one to join a book club, volunteer, connect with classmates and even teach your loved one how to connect with others online while ensuring their safety. Another idea might be to reach out to your local senior living community such as Concordia for activities they might be able to take part in.
4) Ask Them to Teach – Not only do seniors have a wealth of knowledge to pass on, but they have passions, hobbies and experiences that they lived through. Ask your loved one to teach you a lesson about something he or she enjoys (such as gardening, knitting, etc.). This can be enjoyable for both you and your loved one and can create memories and an even stronger bond between you two. If this is successful, make it a weekly or monthly activity!
5) Consider Senior Living – If your loved one’s loneliness doesn’t improve, perhaps a senior living community can help them to come out of their shell and provide the socialization, care and activities they need to thrive. All senior care communities are different, so talking to your loved one about finding the right one that fits their wants and needs can be a great starting point.
What tips will you try to help your loved one avoid loneliness? Comment below with your thoughts or any additional ideas you have. We’d love to hear from you!
It’s important to remember that loneliness is different than depression and to recognize the signs of depression. A few signs of depression might include loss of appetite, trouble sleeping and suicidal thoughts. If your loved one is showing signs of depression, contact their healthcare provider.
Do you have questions about Concordia or are interested in how we can help you and your loved one? If so, please feel free to contact us any time via our online contact form or by calling our administrative headquarters at 724-352-1571. Or, visit the care levels & services page of our website to learn about the types of care we offer including Personal Care, In-Home Care, Memory Care, Long-Term Nursing Care, Adult Day Services and more.
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