Back To School – Back To Lonely
For many seniors, summertime means visits from grandkids, fun activities, and companionship. Many grandparents are called on to help keep an eye on the grandkids while their parents are working, but when summer comes to an end, that could mean an end to the fun socialization for grandparents.
Aging is not an easy process. Not only does health become more of a concern, but many factors also result in less social involvement. People 65 years of age and older are often retiring, some have health and mobility issues that reduce the ability to get out and be active, and many others may be experiencing hard times due to loss of a spouse and separation from children and grandchildren. When the summertime ends and the kids are getting ready to start another school year, put some of these fun tips into action and help your aging loved ones ease the burdening feelings of loneliness.
Tips To Ease Loneliness And Isolation
- Plan weekend activities with the kids to keep your loved ones excited and looking forward to something. It doesn’t have to be anything major. Cook a meal together or plan a movie night! Just be sure to let your loved ones know that you are there for communication and support.
- Help promote exercise by helping your loved ones build a garden or plan a couple of evening walks. Exercise will stimulate the brain and decrease feelings of depression and sadness. It can also be extremely beneficial for adults with sleeping problems.
- If your loved ones don’t live nearby, it can be harder to plan activities and include them in on events. Luckily, the internet offers a whole slew of resources that can help aging seniors stay connected. Here are just a few examples:
- Skype – It doesn’t have to be Skype. You can use Facebook Video Messaging, FaceTime, or any other online video device to stay connected. If your loved ones are missing grandkids, get the kids to video-chat about their day. This is a great way to help seniors feel involved and bonded with grandkids.
- Social Groups – Seniors do not have to rush out to the local community center to socialize in today’s world. If your senior has mobility concerns, help them sign up for online social groups or support groups. This is a great way for seniors to learn more about using computers and the internet, but also to feel the support and excitement of connecting with others.
- Send care packages. Care packages are a great way to let your loved ones know that you are thinking about them, and to maybe open their eyes and minds to new hobbies. For example, you can send a yoga care package one month and see how they enjoy it. Or gift them with a subscription to a fun online course. There are dozens of things that can help peak your loved one’s interest and also give them something to look forward to.
No matter what you decide to do, just remember that the key is to find something that helps your loved one feel included. Social connection and strong bonds can promote a better quality of life and better overall health.