Loneliness is a growing epidemic among the elderly and can be detrimental to their health. Some senior citizens become isolated by circumstances, while others make a conscious choice to withdraw. The loss of a spouse, disabilities, absent extended family and depression are just a few of reasons the elderly become lonely.
Here are the steps seniors can take to prevent loneliness and improve the quality of their lives and enjoy their golden years in the good company.
- Play more
Many community centres offer games mornings for the elderly. Games like Bridge and Bingo can be gratifying and a lot of fun. While it may seem overwhelming to step out of your comfort zone, the social and mental benefits will be worth pushing yourself. If you feel unsure, you can observe until you feel comfortable about joining in.
- Take up a hobby
Hobbies are essential at any age for keeping the mind active, but they’re particularly beneficial for the elderly who can make contact with like-minded people. There are hobby groups for just about any interest, including dancing, crafts, knitting circles, woodwork groups, painting classes and so on. You can participate in the chit-chat as much as you feel comfortable with. Simply working on something in company offers substantial rewards for many seniors and keeps your mind and body active and engaged.
- Share meals
If you don’t feel up to – or are unable to leave your home – invite people round for meals or a cup of tea. If each person brings something, it’s a really affordable way to keep in touch with family and friends.
If your abilities allow you, why not try volunteering as it can provide many rewards. Many schools need volunteers who will sit and listen to children read or animal shelters who need volunteers to spend time with animals. Find a level of volunteering that is appropriate for your level of activity and reap the rewards of these good deeds.
- Hire an in-home carer
One of the best ways to beat loneliness is to sign up for an in-home care package. Carers visit regularly and often become friends with their clients. Studies have shown that the aged who choose to receive in-home care are less lonely than those in residential care homes. This is because in-home care is focused on the individual’s unique needs with personalised care.
While it can be hard to make the first move, the benefits of doing everything possible to prevent loneliness among senior citizens far outweigh the challenges. Better health, happiness and a longer life are worth it!
There is no need for your loved one to be alone when you can’t be there for them. Call Care Connect to find out about in home care. Our clients enjoy the company of carefully selected, reliable and compassionate carers.