Social isolation is common among older adults, and it can lead to long-term problems and speed up cognitive decline. Family caregivers need to promote socialization and make it easier for their aging loved ones to get out into the community and interact with others. Below are some ways your loved one can reduce his or her risk of isolation.
Find New Hobbies
As your loved one’s health changes, his or her abilities will also change, and some of the hobbies he or she loved in the past may not be as enjoyable now. Look for exciting new activities for your loved one to do. Ask for your parent’s opinions and suggestions when putting together weekly outings. Finding stimulating, purposeful, and achievable activities can increase socialization and reduce the risk of doubt, fear, and depression.
Maintain Meaningful Relationships
Your parent should find time to call former coworkers, go to breakfast with neighbors, or engage in activities with close friends and family. Maintaining meaningful relationships can reduce the risk of isolation, boost cognitive health, and increase happiness. Even if your loved one’s friends live far away, he or she can use social media, texts, email, video chats, and other forms of communication to stay in touch.
For families living in Toronto, 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.
There may be days when your loved one doesn’t feel like leaving the house, which is why you need to make activities more accessible. For instance, if you’re hosting a game night and your parent doesn’t want to travel to your home due to bad weather or low energy, you can bring the guests, food, games, and fun to his or her home. Being flexible may get your loved one out of his or her comfort zone from time to time while allowing him or her to maintain a sense of control.
A home caregiver can be a wonderful source of support for a senior who’s at risk for isolation. Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality senior home care. Trust Home Care Assistance to help your elderly loved one age in place safely and comfortably.
Get a Pet
If your loved one feels down and depressed, he or she can find joy, comfort, and companionship in taking care of a pet. Caring for a pet is also a great way to keep the mind and body stimulated. When taking the animal to the local park, your parent can interact with other pet owners and build more social connections. Make sure to choose an animal that’s low maintenance and has a good temperament.
Join a Senior Support Group
If your parent is living with a serious health condition or has recently lost a spouse, joining a support group can help him or her process negative emotions in a healthy way. Your loved one can share his or her feelings and receive tips and motivation from group members going through similar challenges. Having someone outside the family to speak with honestly and openly could keep your loved one socially active and boost his or her mental health.
Social isolation can result in mental, emotional, and physical challenges for aging adults, but seniors don’t have to manage them alone. In Toronto, at-home 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. To learn more about our reliable, compassionate in-home care services, contact us at (416) 488-8777 today.