Tips For Saving Senior Citizens From Loneliness

Advice For Caregivers

Seniors Enjoying Company

Senior Couple Enjoying Each Others Company

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 however, it is unavoidable. There are many ways that family members can help their aging parents or loved ones who are getting older avoid becoming lonely, or at least lessen the impact.

Senior isolation is an epidemic in this country.  According to the Institute on Aging, over 11.3 million elderly people are living alone and many of them are seniors dealing with loneliness. Isolation and loneliness can lead to many medical issues. When a senior’s mental health is affected, they may not be taking care of themselves properly such as not eating proper meals, diagnosing new health conditions and staying active.

Below are a few suggestions that cost little to no money and can change someone’s mental well-being tremendously for the better.

Visitation

If your elderly family member has been placed in an assisted living home, one of the biggest things that you can do to improve their mood and feelings of loneliness is to visit them frequently and simply spend time with them. 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.

Contact

If you are unable to visit as frequently as you would like, a simple phone call or FaceTime 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 social activities or weekly outings they can attend which can give them an opportunity to partake in activities with others in a similar living situation. Many cities have senior fitness and exercise programs, which is a great way to meet people.  You could even attend some events yourself and help your family member socialize with others.

Events

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.

Connect on Social Media

Nowadays, seniors can have many social interactions online! One way to keep you aging loved one from senior loneliness is to set them up on some appropriate social media sites. Facebook is great for keeping up with old friends as well as family. They even have senior specific tablets for connecting with friends and family. One such resource is called GrandPad and it allows seniors to connect to a private family networks to chat, see pictures and so on.

Volunteer

Volunteering is a great way to get out and connect with others and it may help a senior citizen’s self-awareness. There are many senior friendly volunteer programs available and here are a few ideas.

Join a Senior Living Community

Finally, if your loved on is living alone and socially isolated, it may be time to move them to an assisted living community. This way, they will be able to spend time with peers, join in the living community’s activities and eat meals with friends.

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.

The senior loneliness epidemic is not going away and we hope we have been able to help keep loneliness in seniors away with these senior tips.