Senior loneliness is a common issue and a growing problem among older people. According to research, nearly one in three older adults in the United States report feeling lonely. This can be due to a variety of factors, such as the loss of a spouse, friends, or family members; reduced mobility and independence; and decreased social opportunities. It’s a problem that seniors and their loved ones are actively looking for ways to solve. For example, new research found that 1.1 million older people rely on using public transport for company.
- Consequences Of Loneliness For Seniors
Loneliness can have serious consequences for your loved ones, including an increased risk of:
- Cognitive decline
- Dementia (Up to 50% increased risk according to the CDC)
- Decreased physical health, as lonely seniors are less likely to engage in physical activity, get enough sleep, and eat a nutritious diet
- Serious health problems such as heart disease and stroke, among others.
- How Seniors Can Avoid Loneliness
Here are some ways that can help them build and maintain social connections:
- Participate in social activities such as local community events, clubs, and classes.
- Volunteer or join a local group can also help older adults connect with others and feel more engaged in their community.
- Support them and their desire to stay connected with friends and family by helping them use technology such as video calls.
- Sign them up for social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram to stay up-to-date and communicate with friends and family members.
In addition to building social connections, it is important to address any physical or mental health conditions that may contribute to loneliness. For example, older adults with hearing or vision loss may benefit from hearing aids or vision correction surgery. Those with depression or anxiety may benefit from therapy or medication. Addressing their ailments and sympathizing with them helps them feel as if they are not going through their troubles alone.
- Breaking Routine Activities Can Help Seniors Deal With Loneliness
In addition to all this, you can also devise activities with family or friends so that your loved one feels accompanied and can also have a good time. Having a routine lets older adults predict and plan their days, which makes them feel safe and stable.
In small doses, however, breaking routines can also be extremely helpful for elderly family members. By keeping your family member engaged and participating with others, you can prevent monotony from taking over their lives and lead to them feeling less lonely and more enriched in their lives.
Here are some ways that you can help break the monotony in your family member’s lives:
- Create a book club and choose some of their favorite books.
- Attend a cooking class and learn a new dish.
- Host game nights with family or friends.
- Join an easy exercise class, such as yoga or water aerobics.
- Learn a new hobby, such as sewing or knitting, in a group class.
- What If I Can’t Accompany My Loved One?
Whether you’re a caregiver who needs time to get to your daily routine, a concerned family member who wants to keep your loved one close to home, or an individual who wants to live independently outside of a nursing home setting, a companion care referral service may be the easiest solution. We believe in referring companions who can provide services with tender, loving care.
Let us help you and your loved one, to learn more about the options for your needs call us at (786) 518-3622 in Miami-Dade or (954) 949-1332 in Broward.