Helping Seniors Cope with Loneliness
As we get older, we all go through a lot of changes, and many of those changes can leave us feeling lonely. Losing partners, close friends, and family can be devastating. Decreased mobility and health problems can make it difficult to visit with others. In 2020, the COVID-19 epidemic has added an additional obstacle to human interaction, especially for seniors who are among the most vulnerable group to infection. If you have a family member who may be feeling lonely, there are some things you can do to help. Here are a few tips from the staff at Summerset Senior Living you can use to help your senior loved ones cope with loneliness.
Encourage Use of Technology and Social Media
The great thing about social media is that it allows us to connect with people all over the world without having to leave our homes. While data collected by Pew Research indicates that social media use by seniors has risen dramatically since 2012, only about 40% of people aged 65 and older have at least one social media account. If your senior loved one is reluctant to take advantage of new technological advancements, the promise of meaningful social interaction may be exactly what they need to get on board. Utilizing tech like mobile phones and tablets designed specifically for seniors can help to ease the transition and make social media look more appealing.
Introduce Them to a New Hobby
No matter what your age, picking up a new hobby can be a great way to meet new people and develop rewarding and lasting relationships. If your senior loved one is stuck in a rut, a hobby can be a great way to break them out of it. If there’s a hobby they used to enjoy, getting back into it can help them recapture the feelings they had in their youth. Arts and crafts, creative writing and genealogy are examples of great hobbies that can keep seniors engaged. (We’ll be writing more about hobbies for seniors in the coming weeks.) If a brand new hobby is in order, learning something new not only gives them a chance to interact with like-minded people, it may also help slow the progression of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.
Help Them Adopt a Pet
If your senior loved one is healthy and mobile enough to care for an animal, adopting a pet can give them a lifelong companion who loves them unconditionally. Pet ownership has been proven to reduce feelings of depression and loneliness among people of all age groups, and caring for an active pet like a dog can motivate a senior to get the exercise they need. Not only that, but walking the dog or making regular trips to the dog park can be the perfect opportunity to meet new friends.
Consider a Senior Living Community
Many seniors derive a great deal of self-worth from living on their own, but that independence may come at the cost of social interaction. Seniors who are feeling lonely may actually benefit from making the transition to a senior living community. Whether independent or assisted, a senior living community provides ample opportunity for social interaction and planned outings. In addition, exercise facilities, dining halls, and pet-friendly residences make it easy for anyone to meet new friends.
If you’re interested in finding out more about Summerset’s various senior living options in Lincoln, CA and Rancho Cordova, CA, give us a call at (916) 619-0494 or visit our contact page and fill out the online form. We will be happy to send you more information or even schedule a tour for you and your family.