One of the most difficult transitions in an adult’s life is going from a robust and rich schedule full of a job, family members, friends and hobbies to the sedentary and solitary life of an aging adult. As each one of those things are removed from the senior’s life, they are often not replaced with other activities and people. This can lead to long-term isolation, boredom and loneliness.
It may come as a surprise to many, but studies show that seniors who are chronically lonely and bored actually suffer from more health issues than those with greater activity levels. From low self-esteem and depression to a weakened immune system and a higher risk of injury and accident, aging adults can suffer when they don’t have the support of others in creating a meaningful schedule.
Family caregivers with aging adults to look after should pay attention to their loved one’s weekly schedule to reduce boredom and loneliness. Then, they need to develop a dependable support group to facilitate the activities using friends, family members, community senior services and especially home care providers. Home care providers are especially valuable in keeping seniors from loneliness as they can act as dedicated companions and assistants each day.
There are several types of age-appropriate activities to consider for an elderly loved one:
- Exercise and Activity: Even the most mobility-challenged senior can benefit from increased activity and even exercise. There are plenty of streaming shows and DVDs of fitness videos aimed at seniors. From chair and wheelchair yoga to senior aerobics, there is something for every age and ability. Getting more fit will also help seniors stay healthy, strong and have more energy for other things.
- Get Outside: There’s something invigorating and healing about the great outdoors and if seniors have the chance, they should incorporate some kind of activity every week. Ideas include container gardening, birdwatching, butterfly gardens, beekeeping, and flying drones. Even creating an outdoor oasis for reading or socializing can be a fun and fulfilling activity. Seniors should also consider spending time in the local park with their home care provider.
- Develop Talents and Hobbies: Whether they are starting a new hobby or expanding on a current talent, seniors are never too old to develop their talents. Aging adults can do a number of different crafts and hobbies, such as woodworking, models, knitting, quilting, calligraphy, train sets and dioramas.
- Expand the Mind: The quest for knowledge doesn’t have to end with retirement and aging adults are fortunate enough to live in an age where technology brings the world’s classrooms to their laptops and tablets. Seniors can take online classes, listen to world-class lectures, learn new languages, follow current events and even communicate with others from around the globe. While family caregivers and home care providers will need to help with the technology setup, seniors can expand the mind as much as they want.
It might seem difficult for busy family caregivers to add one more thing to their plate, but it’s important for them to remember how serious loneliness and boredom are for aging loved ones. A fulfilling life is one of the best ways for seniors to stay healthy and happy.
if you or an aging loved one are considering caregivers in Elizabeth, CO, please contact the caring staff at SYNERGY HomeCare today at 303-953-9924.