An increasing set of studies show how social isolation may be detrimental to seniors’ physical and mental health. According to one study, loneliness is just as harmful as obesity or smoking. The University of Chicago researchers have shown that lonely persons have much stress and higher blood pressure levels.
Consider this professional advice on preventing senior loneliness if you’re worried that a loved one is feeling lonely.
Encouraging a Feeling of Purpose in Life
Individuals who have lost their sense of life’s purpose experience depression far more intensely.
Motivate the elder to take a pastime like gardening or knitting to prevent brooding and loneliness. Additionally, you may persuade them to try out social pastimes like card games, yoga, or charitable volunteer work in their assisted living community.
Promote Interpersonal Communication
Encourage the senior loved one to see friends and relatives, participate in group trips, and go to local events rather than let them handle their sadness alone. Assisted living communities can foster a lot of opportunities for this.
A vibrant social life, according to studies, enhances one’s mental, emotional, and physical health. This is crucial for senior people who are dealing with sadness and loneliness.
Motivate the senior to teach someone something. If they can’t hold a class since it’s a lot of work, ask them to teach you instead!
It will help provide purpose to their lives and reestablish a part of the child-parent relationship that may occasionally be lost when kids start taking care of their elderly parents, even if all they can contribute is knowledge and good advice.
Seniors who dwell alone, even in assisted living facilities, often get engulfed in a wave of pessimism. It would be wonderful if you could give them a significant task.
A pet such as a dog will be the ideal companion for energetic seniors since it will keep them regularly busy, making them feel valued and wanted, and promote social interaction.
We’ve discovered that taking care of a plant may also be a powerful mood enhancer: our assisted living facility’s elders saw their depression symptoms lessened when we gave them a plant to take care of.
Encourage Interactions with Neighbors
Although it might be challenging to put yourself out there to meet individuals from your assisted living community, the rewards can be profound. Meeting as few as six neighbors may help you feel less alone and is associated with decreased levels of melancholy, social anxiety, and COVID-19-related financial worries, according to worldwide research published in 2020. Plus, other seniors in the community might also love to interact and make friends since they are in the same boat as your loved one.
It’s also not necessary to make many gestures to maintain relationships with your neighbors. The study also found that modest good deeds, such as waving a greeting to people you pass on the street or giving advice to new neighbors, may make people feel less lonely.
Try an Assisted Living Community
As per the U.S. Census Bureau, about one-third of all seniors live alone. It does seem that it causes loneliness, particularly for people who have lost their partner. Older persons often want to be independent and at their own homes as they age, but isolation may have deadly consequences. Senior living communities may help with that. Seniors living in assisted living communities benefit from a lifestyle emphasizing sociability, health, and well-being. Possibilities to meet your neighbors, get engaged, and remain active are available because the stress-free lifestyle gives you additional time to explore your interests.