One of the biggest threats to senior health may not be a medical condition. Many older adults often experience feelings of loneliness, and studies have shown elderly individuals who feel isolated have a greater risk of dying than others who feel more connected. However, there are options available for family members concerned about their relatives' mental and physical well-being.
For starters, it's important for family caregivers to recognize what's behind the cause of their loved one's loneliness. Everything from illness to the death of a spouse could be a trigger, and discussing the issue with them is a good first step. In doing so, they may be able to find a renewed sense of enjoying life.
"You've got to really dig deep and find out what their interests were before and get them to try and awaken those forgotten activities," professional caregiver Bobbie Smith told AgingCare.com.
It's also important to devise a strategy, and companionship care is a good option. Much more than providing someone to spend time with, companionship caregivers can encourage them to pick up lost hobbies that could boost their mood.
Above all else, caregivers may want to reach out to other family and friends. All it could take is regular visits from people they care about to start to reduce the challenges of loneliness.