One of the most common issues facing American seniors is loneliness. The U.S. Census Bureau put the number of elderly folks living alone in one year at an alarming 11 million. Living alone, although a choice for many older folks who want to remain in their familiar surroundings, can inevitably lead to extreme loneliness.
Especially for seniors who do not have children or grandchildren to see during holidays and family events, the risk of becoming even more lonely as time goes by is greater. Other health issues that they are at risk for when living alone are heart disease, stroke and dementia.
If you are dealing with a loved one or relative who suffers from senior loneliness, here are some tips for making their life easier and making them feel cared for.
1. Ensure their ease of transportation
Anything that promotes travel within an easy distance is good for most seniors. If you can help them get access to good public transportation, or give them rides to their destination at specified times during the week, you ease their situation. You also give them a reason to interact socially, which is vital for their memory care and emotional well-being. They will feel more independent, and this sense of adequacy is important.
2. Find Community Activities
Find ways to keep them updated on local happenings. Maybe they would like to visit the theater or attend community projects. Festivals that they once enjoyed could still be appreciated if they knew about the details of the event and had a way to get there. This is why assisted living centers focus on organizing activities and programs within the facility. It gives the seniors joy and purpose when they feel involved in an activity, replacing the depression of loneliness.
3. Encourage exercise
Perhaps the feelings of loneliness are due to personal self-issues. They may not be as fit or slim as in their youth, and this makes them avoid social situations. But if they tend to avoid social interactions, they are more likely to get sluggish on the couch, and their body becomes more susceptible to diseases.
Lack of exercise, as we all know, can be dangerous and even detrimental to one's health. If the elderly person has a weight problem, you should gently encourage them to keep up efforts to move their body gently, a little each day. Simple walks or easy gardening and watering their flowers could be ways for seniors to move about and say fit.
4. Arrange a Senior Care facility
The final and best way to cope with their loneliness is to get community help with a care facility. This is because not only do they get personal attention, but they also have regular professional medical attention. The overall focus on their entire state of health and well-being will make them feel much more cared for.
When they are also able to interact with other elderly folks who may be experiencing the same issues that come with aging, they will know they are not alone.
It is vital that seniors remain engaged, either through community living or assisted living, and that they have the necessary channels for input as well as output. They need to be able to communicate their thoughts, no matter how trivial, to another human being. They often need to regain a sense of purpose or even a reason to wake up and live from day to day.
To help find that peace of mind for yourself or for your loved one, schedule a call or personal consultation at Heritage Villas today. We are dedicated to making this journey through life a better one for the whole family.