Loneliness is a problem many older adults face, especially if they live alone and have difficulty getting out. Unfortunately, loneliness can take a physical toll as well as an emotional one. Studies show that people who are lonely are at a greater risk for death. They are also twice as lonely to be depressed. If you suspect your aging family member is lonely, here are five tips to help them stay connected.
#1 Join a Group – ANY Group!
Encourage the older adult to join some sort of group. The group could be organized around anything. Ideas for groups to join include book clubs, knitting clubs, a group fitness class, a cooking club, a birdwatchers group. Chances are that if the person has a hobby or interest, they can find a group of people who are interested in the same thing.
#2 Get a Pet
Having a pet may be an especially good option for a senior who is mostly homebound. People with pets feel less lonely because of the companionship and unconditional love the pet supplies. A pet can also help forge social connections. For example, if the older adult has a dog, consider taking them to the dog park where their pooch will meet new friends—and they probably will, too!
Volunteering can be a great way to meet new people. Volunteer opportunities can be found through local non-profits, places of worship, food pantries, and many other places. Even if the senior has limited mobility, there are still ways they can volunteer. For example, the food pantry may need someone to greet people and ask them to fill out paperwork as they enter.
#4 Take a Class
Taking a class gives seniors an opportunity to be around other people who are all interested in the same thing. That makes it easier to start a conversation! Many community colleges offer classes at a reduced rate for senior citizens. Check the event schedule for the local library, which may also offer free or low-priced classes and seminars on all sorts of subjects.
#5 Hire a Senior Care Provider
Not only does having a senior care come to the house provide an instant social connection, senior care providers can also help your aging relative to get out of the house and meet more people. Senior care providers can take walks with the older adult, giving them a chance to see people on the street. They can also take the person and their dog to the dog park. A senior care provider can even help your relative to entertain friends at home.
If you or an aging loved one is considering senior care in Casa Grande, AZ, please contact the caring staff at SYNERGY HomeCare today: 480-377-6770.