Preventing Isolation Among Seniors Who Age in Place
Seniors who live alone are at risk for isolation because of the countless hours they spend by themselves. Caregivers can be hired to keep your loved one company throughout the day, as well as help with all of the tasks that have become too difficult for them.
Even with the help of a caregiver, the senior may feel as though they are a burden on those who are assisting them with everyday activities. This could cause them to isolate themselves from those who are helping them. Isolation can be dangerous for both the senior’s emotional and physical health. If they were to fall or become injured in their home, there would be no one around to help. Also, elders who isolate themselves have higher risks of depression. In order to prevent this from happening to your loved one, here are some tips to follow.
- Stop by frequently. Even if the visit is short, your loved one will greatly appreciate the gesture. Spending more time together will significantly reduce their change of being isolated, as well as making them feel loved and valued. Try to stop by at the same time each day, week, or month in order to give the elder something to look forward to. If you insist on visiting frequently, but your aging parent wants to be left alone, have them see a medical profession because they may be depressed.
- Offer to provide transportation. Some seniors isolate themselves from the outside world because they are unable to drive or have no means of transportation. A home care professional can provide transportation for them, but you can also offer to escort them to appointments, the grocery store, or any other errands they need to run. Not only will you get them out of the house, but this is an excellent opportunity to visit with each other and strengthen your bond.
- Encourage the elder to make new friends. Making new friends becomes increasingly difficult as we age, but can help improve self-confidence and self-worth. Encourage your loved one to sign up for a class or two at a local senior center or college in order to meet other people who share similar interests. If they already have friends, urge them to reconnect with those people in order to keep these relationships strong.
- Remodel their home. Rearranging the elder’s furniture and décor can create a whole new look in order to get them out of their isolated state. Remodeling is a lot of work and money, but adding colorful throw pillows, new art, or a new furniture layout could help improve their mood and give them the motivation to become social once again.
Isolation is common among older adults, but these tips will help your loved one get out of their anti-social slump.