Loneliness is something that most people experience at some point in their lives, but for the elderly, being alone can become an all-encompassing emotion that can diminish quality of life and even affect other areas of their health. In fact, studies show that seniors who are lonely experience a higher risk for depression, heart disease, diabetes and even some forms of cancer.
As important as it is to ensure that your aging parent or loved one has the support they need, the topic can be difficult to discuss, with many seniors too embarrassed or proud to admit they need help. Fortunately, there are many ways to show support to your loved one and encourage them to become more engaged with the outside world. Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of home care in Cincinnati, OH, offers a few suggestions for how to help seniors overcome loneliness:
- Research local activities. Companionship for your loved one could be as close as your very own neighborhood. Many communities have senior care centers that host a variety of different classes specifically for seniors, ranging from art classes to water aerobics. The local library is another great option for book clubs, and many community colleges offer opportunities for continuing one’s education. Encouraging participation in these activities can help your loved one renew their sense of purpose, and can also provide them with a social outlet to reduce feelings of loneliness and depression.
- Involve the entire family. Consider having a younger relative or grandchild to teach your loved one to use the internet, which serves a dual purpose of forming a bridge between generations and enabling your loved one to keep in touch, and even make new friends online. Whether through email, social media or video chatting, a senior can connect with the outside world through technology easily and conveniently. Also, include your loved one in family activities as often as possible. For example, invite them if you are going out for dinner. Something as simple as sharing a meal could give them something to look forward to.
- Enlist the help of others. Reach out to friends and family and encourage them to make a phone call, or drop off a meal in their spare time. Small acts of kindness can help a senior feel loved and appreciated. If it is hard for your relative to get out of the house, you may even consider part-time care services. With part-time or hourly care in Cincinnati, a professional caregiver can provide your loved one with companionship, and also engage them in fun activities at home or on the go. From playing board games together to touring a local museum, caregivers can be loving friends, and can also ensure safety and comfort.
Combating senior loneliness is important in ensuring your loved ones’ quality of life. And with a little creativity, you have the power to make a difference. To learn more about helping a senior loved one combat loneliness, reach out to Home Care Assistance of Cincinnati today at 513-891-2273 and schedule a free, in-home consulation with a friendly Care Manager.