As we age, it becomes increasingly more difficult to find activities and ways to keep your mind busy, your body active, and your emotions at bay in regards to avoiding feeling lonely. More often than not, it may be directly associated with losing a loved one, such as your spouse.
In conjunction to losing someone you built a life with, your health starts to deteriorate and while it can be frustrating, it is unavoidable. There are many ways that family members can help their loved ones who are getting older avoid becoming lonely, or at least lessen the impact.
Below are a few suggestions that cost little to no money and can change someone’s mental well-being tremendously for the better.
If your elderly family member has been placed in a home, one of the biggest things that you can do to improve their mood is to visit them frequently. This will not only help give you peace of mind about assessing their living situation and how things function on a typical day, but they will see a familiar face as well. Loneliness stems from feeling isolated and not being able to be out and about like they once were.
If you are unable to visit as frequently as you would like, a simple phone call will do a great amount of justice. This is especially important when it comes to special occasions, as no one wants to feel ‘alone’ around and during any holiday season. If your elderly family member can no longer drive, taking that extra moment to just say hello can help tremendously.
- Do Some Research
It never hurts to do a little research about resources within the community that your elderly loved one resides in. There may be functions or weekly outings they can attend which can give them an opportunity to partake in activities with others in a similar living situation. You could even attend some events yourself and help your family member socialize with others.
If there is a semi-annual or yearly event that was once loved by the family and has become tradition, try to keep that alive. It can bring comfort and joy to your loved one, knowing that they can continue living life as they once did, and create new memories enjoying their family traditions.
- Ask Questions
Although this may sound silly, ask your family member about how their day is going or local news. Since older loved ones are often unable to get out as much as they once could, they often pay more attention to the little things going on around them. It will more than likely make their day.
These are merely a few ideas that cost little to no money that can help your elderly family member feel like they are still a member of the family. Losing the ability to drive, not seeing familiar faces as much, as well as declining health can really put a damper on how someone feels.
The happier you can make someone with these simple things can make a huge impact on their overall health and with feelings associated with loneliness.