Loneliness is difficult at any age, but seniors are particularly susceptible to isolation, which can lead to both mental and physical health issues. Here are a few ways to prevent senior isolation and promote senior health.
Build a Network
One of the most important safeguards against isolation is a healthy social network. Rather than making your aging loved one dependent on one or two caregivers, work on building a community of friends and neighbors who are part of your loved one’s social “team.” Make a list of the people your loved one interacts with on a regular basis, and make sure you have contact information for each person. The key here is building consistent contact. For instance, if your loved one has a regular salon or medical appointment, try to ensure he or she sees the same stylist, nurse, or doctor at each visit.
For families living in Oshkosh, respite care can be a wonderful solution when their aging loved ones need companionship and socialization a few hours a week or just need minor assistance with daily household tasks. At Home Care Assistance, we thrive on helping seniors maintain their independence while living in the comfort of home.
Create a Schedule
Creating a regular weekly schedule can go a long way toward staving off feelings of isolation. While it’s not necessary to fill up every spare minute with social interactions, look for gaps in the schedule where your loved one may appreciate some additional contact. Building things like church attendance, medical care, and exercise into the schedule can provide reliable social encounters your loved one can enjoy on a regular basis. Consider coordinating transportation to these outings as a means of building additional social interaction into the weekly schedule.
If your loved one needs assistance with daily activities due to issues such as limited mobility, consider hiring a professional caregiver. Home care service experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.
These days, “social networking” often means connecting via technology and social media. Although computers can be intimidating for seniors, smartphones and tablets offer easy access to social media platforms. However, a few lessons in social media etiquette may be in order. In addition to social media, tools like FaceTime and Skype also make it possible to have face-to-face conversations from thousands of miles away. These interactions would make excellent additions to the weekly schedule, and with a little practice, most seniors find the technology manageable.
Consider Pet Adoption
Pet ownership has a number of benefits for people of all ages, and caring for pets can help seniors prevent isolation. Assuming your loved one is capable of caring for an animal, consider introducing a small pet into his or her household. The pet can be a constant source of companionship and even enhance home security by alerting your loved one to unusual activity in or around the home.
Isolation can result in mental, emotional, and physical challenges, but seniors don’t have to manage them alone. In Oshkosh, elder care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy. Call one of our friendly Care Managers at (920) 573-6295 to learn about ways our experienced caregivers can help your loved one.