Many seniors live alone because their children have moved on and their spouses have passed away. In addition, most are retired, and their friends from their younger days have usually moved on to new lives. Loneliness can cause your elderly loved one’s health to decrease, so there’s no time like the present to help him or her rediscover a social life.
1. Start a New Hobby
If your loved one has always wanted to take up a new hobby, now is the time. Crafts, sewing, gardening, painting, and playing a musical instrument are a few options. Not only can these activities keep your loved one’s mind sharp, but they can also connect him or her to a whole new group of social contacts. Book clubs, garden clubs, and even art lessons can help your loved one meet like-minded people with common interests.
Loneliness is just one of the difficult situations your loved one could be facing. Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality homecare. Trust Home Care Assistance to help your elderly loved one age in place safely and comfortably.
2. Volunteer with Local Organizations
Seniors who are socially isolated may also feel like they’ve lost their sense of purpose. Volunteering is an excellent way to combat both issues. Check with the local hospital, animal shelters, homeless shelters, and charities to see if they offer activities your loved one can volunteer for. He or she might enjoy interacting with the public on a regular basis while helping others.
3. Socialize in the Community
Many seniors find their friends are no longer as accessible as they once were. Their friends may have retired to warmer locations, moved in with family, gone into assisted living facilities, or even passed away. Luckily, there are several options in most communities to make new friends. Check with the local senior center to see if they offer game nights or classes. Some churches may have Sunday school classes and other opportunities for older people to socialize. Accompany your loved one to these classes and events the first few times to ease nervousness.
Family caregivers may not always be able to accompany their loved ones to these events because of other commitments. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Harrisburg, PA, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity.
4. Adopt a Pet
Many seniors cannot leave the house at will because they have limited mobility or are unable to drive. Their children and grandchildren may not be able to visit as often as they would like, and living alone could lead to depression and other health issues. Housebound seniors should consider adopting pets. A dog or cat in a home can offer health benefits such as lowered blood pressure and reduced feelings of loneliness. When adopting a pet, make sure your loved one is able to feed and walk it as needed.
5. Connect with Others Online
Social media isn’t just for young people. Adults of all ages are joining Facebook and other online sites to reconnect with old friends, keep up with their communities, and interact with family members, many of whom live far away. If your loved one is lonely, consider teaching him or her the ins and outs of online interactions, including internet safety.
If you’re the primary family caregiver for an elderly loved one and need additional assistance providing high-quality home care, Harrisburg Home Care Assistance can help. We are a leading home care agency committed to changing the way seniors age. Call one of our dedicated Care Managers today at (717) 540-4663 to learn about the high quality of our in-home care services.