We have known for a long time that social isolation leads to loneliness, and both can have a serious impact on our well-being. Senior isolation is a serious issue around the world, especially considering how many seniors live alone. Preventing social isolation to reduce loneliness can have a positive impact on a loved one’s emotional, physical, and mental health. So, what can you do to combat social isolation and loneliness for a loved one?
It is not always possible for you to spend all your time with a loved one. To balance things out, you should encourage friends and family to visit your loved one. It is hard to feel isolated and alone if they have someone around them all the time. Do not forget to encourage friends and family to spend some time with your loved one, preferably a few hours. If you can, you should also arrange routine visits. Take this time to sit, eat together and talk. There is also a lot you can learn from such intergenerational interactions, so take advantage of them whenever you can.
Use Technology to Stay in Touch
Technology has advanced to the point where it is no longer as challenging as it used to be for seniors. Video messaging and voice assistants can help a loved one get in touch with you easily. If you cannot arrange one-on-one calls, there are numerous online communities for seniors that you can encourage a loved one to be part of. These communities provide numerous opportunities for meeting new friends, learning about new technologies, and generally discussing the challenges of being a senior.
Consider a Senior Living Community
Senior living facilities encourage socialization among seniors. Even in cases where a loved one does not feel like socializing, they do not feel as lonely because they know there is someone always around to check upon them. To further enhance socialization, senior living communities like Belmont Village have various activities that encourage seniors to come together and socialize with the other remembers of the community.
Encourage New Interests
It is true that our levels of energy wane as we get older. Because things get harder to do or be interested in as we age, some people isolate themselves. To prevent this, encourage a senior loved one to try new activities they will like. For example, you could encourage them to take on a hobby they have always wanted to but never got around to it. Other activities they may be interested in include joining a workout classroom, volunteering, and going for walks.
Avoiding Shunning a Loved One for Their Age
It is understandable to feel like you have nothing in common with an older loved one. This causes you to distance yourself, which in turn leads to isolation on their part. You should try to maintain relationships with a senior loved one no matter how different the both of you and your generations might seem.
Isolation and loneliness are serious issues among seniors. They can cause other issues such as stress and depression that can severely limit a loved one’s quality of life. Everyone is encouraged to do their part in reducing loneliness and isolation among seniors.