Loneliness is not usually something that people believe can affect a person’s physical health.
However, studies show that chronic loneliness leaves a lasting impact on the body. Elderly adults are most likely to experience loneliness day after day due to several factors. The good news is that family caregivers can do a lot to make sure their aging relative can avoid loneliness.
Because loneliness has the potential to negatively affect the health and wellness of elderly adults, family caregivers must take an active role in promoting social interaction for them. Because many seniors are limited by illness, injury and the effects of aging, the need help to stay active and involved socially.
Here are some ways that family caregivers can help their aging relatives avoid loneliness:
Arrange for Transportation
One of the main causes of loneliness in elderly adults is that they are physically isolated. Often, they are no longer able or willing to drive to do something social. If they can’t go see their friends, attend a community event or make it to family gatherings, it is really hard to maintain those social connections. Family caregivers can arrange to give them rides or hire a home care assistant that can drive the elderly adult anytime they need to go.
Adopt a Pet
Numerous studies show the health benefits of owning a dog or cat and seniors can especially benefit. Seniors are less likely to be depressed and enjoy better health with a pet in their lives. Pets, especially dogs, are an excellent way for seniors to get up and out the door, meeting people in parks and on walks.
Many hobbies take place in a social setting, so if elderly adults are beginning to feel the effects of isolation, family members can encourage them to maintain or start one. From quilting, scrapbooking, and dancing to photography, genealogy, and golf, hobbies provide seniors with a sense of purpose and the motivation to get involved.
Adapt to Physical Limitations
Many seniors stop being social because they physically can’t overcome the effects of old age enough to engage. Examples include poor vision, hearing loss, or bad balance. Other factors like arthritis, diabetes, incontinence, chronic pain and more may make seniors feel like they are better off staying home. Different adaptive technology, from hearing aids and wheelchairs to incontinence supplies and cataract surgery can give seniors confidence in socially integrating once again.
Hire a Home Care Assistant
Family members may want to spend all kinds of time with their aging relative but other responsibilities prevent that. One of the best ways to alleviate loneliness in the elderly adult is to work out in-home care services with a reputable agency. Not only can a home care aide clean, cook and drive, but they can be companions. Professional home care aides will show interest and compassion for seniors and make sure they are not so socially isolated.
Family caregivers don’t need to worry about loneliness overcoming their aging loved one when they take steps to help. Especially with a home care aide on the scene, seniors can enjoy a rich and a fulfilling social life for many years.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Elder Care in Daleville, AL, please contact the caring staff at Wiregrass HomeCare today. Call us at 334-539-5900.