The issue of senior isolation continues to be a growing problem as the population of older adults who live alone increases. Although there’s much more awareness of the dangers of senior isolation than there has been in the past, there are still some seniors who fall through the cracks. These six tips can help you lower the risk of isolation for your aging loved one.
1. Look for Senior Events in Your Area
The issue of isolation affects enough seniors that many communities are taking action by hosting events for older adults. Some of these are daily events, such as book club meetings at senior centers. Others may be more sporadic, and your loved one might enjoy going to a holiday dinner or dance a few times a year.
A home caregiver can be a wonderful source of support for a senior who’s at risk for isolation. Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality elderly home care. Trust Home Care Assistance to help your elderly loved one age in place safely and comfortably.
2. Consider Getting a Low-Maintenance Pet
Dogs, cats, and birds are all great pets that help seniors feel less isolated. As you pick out a pet, try to look for one that requires little maintenance so having the animal is more enjoyable than stressful. If your loved one already has a pet, help him or her find ways to engage with the animal more. A small pet toy may inspire your loved one to play a game of fetch or enjoy watching the animal chase it around the house.
3. Explore Volunteer Opportunities
It’s difficult for seniors to become isolated when they have volunteer positions that put them in contact with other people on a regular basis. Seniors who volunteer also feel a sense of purpose that motivates them to continue to make an effort to stay social. Your loved one can handwrite cards or letters to service members or volunteer in a position where he or she spends time interacting with the public. Either way, he or she will quickly develop a close network of friends.
4. Give Your Loved One a Makeover
Your loved one might have given up on his or her personal appearance a long time ago, but a brand-new outfit or updated hairstyle could provide the confidence he or she needs to feel good about going out in public. Once you give your loved one a makeover, help him or her maintain the new look with regular personal hygiene assistance.
Social isolation can result in mental, emotional, and physical challenges, but seniors don’t have to manage them alone. In West Hartford, elder care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy.
5. Encourage Enrolling in a Class
Taking classes is one of those things people sometimes forget about as they get older. While your loved one might have had to opt out of going to school during his or her career, he or she has more time after retirement. Check the local community college catalog to see if they offer classes for seniors. You might also find classes designed for older adults at the local recreation center. Having a class to go to means your loved one will be around other people at least once a week.
6. Attend Social Activities with Your Parent
Single seniors may not feel comfortable going to events where they’re forced to mingle alone. This may be especially true if your loved one is shy or hasn’t socialized in a long time. Offer to accompany your loved one, or ask if he or she wants a companion to go along. You or another caregiver can slowly fade into the background once your loved one starts chatting with his or her new friends.
For families living in West Hartford, respite care can be a wonderful solution when their aging loved ones need companionship and socialization a few hours a week or just need minor assistance with daily household tasks. At Home Care Assistance, we thrive on helping seniors maintain their independence while living in the comfort of home. Call us at (860) 372.4500 today to talk to one of our compassionate Care Managers about our high-quality home care services.