Older people are at a higher risk of isolation, which deteriorates their mental and physical wellbeing. Here are some simple ways you can help them fight feelings of loneliness and get them socializing again.
As people get older, they aren’t as active due to mobility and confidence issues. Naturally, they may want to stay inside more often. Encourage them to join local groups to continue hobbies they love or take up a new pastime. Gardening, knitting, or group exercise are enjoyable and social activities. Regular get-togethers help boost their mental health, they can make new friends, and it gives them something to look forward to.
For some seniors, technology can feel a little daunting. Video calling is a fantastic way for them to stay in touch with you and other loved ones who can’t always be there in person. Take some time to teach them how to use a tablet or computer so they can enjoy a Zoom or Skype call with you. Seeing your face during conversation keeps them feeling part of the family – vital when they may otherwise struggle to see a friendly face every day.
Adopt a pet or plant
Older adults may no longer have people relying on them, as they did when they were younger and taking care of a family. To combat loneliness, adopting a pet or even a plant can give them a sense of purpose. It gives them company and even something to talk about with others.
Eat meals with others
For most people, eating is a social activity. Sitting around a dinner table talking about life may be something that isolated seniors miss out on. Invite them for a group meal when you can, or visit them and bring home-cooked food that they enjoy. You can even set aside time to prepare and cook a meal together.
Many seniors can no longer drive – they lose independence and feel guilty about asking for help with getting around. Your local area will likely have local transportation services that help your senior loved one regain their independence. Consider offering to take them to clubs, shopping, or appointments yourself, or with another trusted loved one.
Encourage a healthy lifestyle
Many seniors feel embarrassed about participating in activities or socializing because they’re not as mobile as they used to be, have health issues, or reduced hearing and vision.
It’s essential to help them access adaptive technologies such as walkers or hearing aids to make life easier. Encourage them to try light physical exercise and make sure they have access to fresh, healthy foods. A healthy body keeps weight and other health issues under control, boosting self-esteem.