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 is no time like the present to help him or her rediscover a social life.
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 senior home care. Woodbridge families trust in Home Care Assistance to help their elderly loved ones age in place safely and comfortably.
Here are a few ways your loved one can stay connected with others.
1. Start a New Hobby
If your senior 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 help keep your loved one’s mind sharp, 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.
2. Volunteer in Local Organizations
Seniors who are socially isolated may also feel like they have 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 senior 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 a warmer location, moved in with family, gone into a nursing home, 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 help ease nervousness.
Family caregivers may not always be able to accompany their loved ones to these events because of other commitments. Caring for a senior loved one can be rewarding, but it can also be overwhelming for family caregivers who have other responsibilities they need to focus on. For these families, the perfect solution is respite care. Woodbridge families rely on our caregivers whenever they need time to rest, work, run errands, and even go on vacation.
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 cannot visit as often as they would like, and living alone could lead to depression and other health issues. Housebound seniors should consider adopting a pet. 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 is not 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 senior loved one is lonely, consider teaching him or her the ins and outs of online interactions, including internet safety.
If you are the primary caregiver for a senior family member and want additional assistance from a professional home caregiver, Woodbridge Home Care Assistance is here to help. Our caregivers are available for a few hours a day to help seniors with daily tasks, and we also offer 24-hour live-in care for those who need more extensive assistance. Call (203) 955-1915 to speak with a friendly Care Manager to find out about our senior care plans.