6 Ways To Help Seniors Avoid Isolation
There are many different problems that can potentially plague today’s seniors. However, loneliness and isolation are among the most common. There are many seniors who eventually lose their spouses or friends, are limited in their mobility or just not up to getting out of the house as much as they used to, which can lead to serious issues with isolation. This has become an alarmingly common problem among seniors and it is one that is growing among this population.
This can be a hard problem to stop, but there are things that you can do to help seniors avoid isolation issues. Here are a few different ways you can help seniors avoid this issue.
- Make Transportation Readily Available- One of the many reasons why seniors struggle with isolation is because they are no longer able to drive on their own. The more you can do to help make transportation readily available for your loved one, the easier it can be. Get a network of friends and family members together to offer consistent transportation or consider a service like Uber or senior car sharing.
- Get Them a Pet- Sure a cat or dog may not be the same as having a person in the house, but a pet can really help with loneliness and can give your loved one a sense of purpose.
- Enroll Them in a Senior Exercise Class– Exercising is great for seniors as it not only helps them stay healthy, but it can help them stay social as well. There are many senior-only exercise classes that your loved one can take in order to get out of the house and feel less lonely. Plus, exercise releases endorphins which can reduce stress and help your loved one feel better.
- Encourage Hobbies- Hobbies, both inside and outside of the house can be great for seniors who feel lonely or isolated. This is important even if your loved one’s hobby is something that they do on their own. It can boost their mood, help them feel purpose and give them topics to discuss with others.
- Schedule Dining Outside of the Home- Whether it is a bi-weekly lunch or Sunday night dinner, set up your loved one’s schedule so they are able to dine with others, either out at restaurants or in someone else’s home. It gets your loved one out of the house and is a great social opportunity for seniors.
- Talk to Your Loved One’s Neighbors- Sometimes even something as a friendly smile or a casserole from a neighbor can go a long way for a senior who is feeling lonely or isolated. If your senior isn’t already friendly with their neighbors, introduce yourself to their neighbors and make sure they know there is a senior living alone nearby.
Keep these tips in mind if you have a senior loved one who is living alone. The more that friends and family members can do in order to help their loved ones in this situation—the better off their loved ones will be.
- Lori Thomas has decades of experience as a caregiver. Her writing for SeniorAdvice.com is informed by years of research as well as hands-on family experience caring for her now late mother, who had chronic health issues for most of her life. Lori is an integral part of the SeniorAdvice.com management team, acting as Vice President of Marketing and Chief Editor.
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