Avoiding Senior Isolation

August 22, 2018

As people get older, their likelihood of living alone only increases. Family or friends move away and their main social contact disappears. Isolation among seniors is alarmingly common and will continue to increase in prevalence as the population grows. There are multiple ways to reduce isolation and loneliness. 

Isolation can be the cause of many factors like widows whose spouse has passed away, seniors that are chronically ill or have dementia. Lastly, social contact can deteriorate with caregiving or lack of going out which can ultimately lead to depression.

Learn how to help your loved ones stay healthy by reading more on the top ways to help seniors avoid isolation.

1. Location
If she has extra bedrooms, she might consider having a student live in exchange for chores, or another older adult, shaving costs and offering companionship. 

2. Pet Ownership
Does your senior own any pets? Adopting a pet can tremendously help loneliness. Taking care of a pet can bring back the sense of being needed and dependent on with your senior. It's beneficial as it can lower blood pressure and anxiety, boost memory, and contribute to the mood and a sense of well being. Read our tips for owning a pet companion.

3. Transportation
Transportation can put the brakes on the best of plans. Many older adults volunteer to drive people to appointments or on outings. Consider public transportation options or utilizing Lyft or Uber for those short trips. Consider our tips for using public transportation!

4. Interests & Volunteerism 
One wonderful way to connect isolated seniors with people is to ask them for help. Volunteering allows them to meaningfully contribute to the lives of others, which can give them a renewed sense of purpose and worth. Volunteer opportunities for older adults abound. If they have a particular skillset, such as accounting or counseling, connect them those who need help in these areas.

5. Technology
You don’t need to be a tech whiz to connect with family and friends, whether it is Skype, social media or email. Homebound seniors can participate in daily, real-time classes such as music, current events, history, armchair yoga, and painting, along with those taking the class at the senior center via broadband technology, a touchscreen device and integrated webcams in their apartment. Try to keep up with the latest technology offerings.

 

Getting older can be difficult, especially if you’re alone. Loneliness and isolation can create health problems, a sense of purposelessness, depression, and a host of other issues. It’s something to be taken seriously.

Thankfully, there are actions that can be taken to ensure the seniors in your life don’t experience those things. These actions don’t need to be complicated or labor intensive. They simply require some thought and intention. If your loved one needs a companion to interact with, consider hiring a Senyour companion!