How to Overcome Isolation and Loneliness in Seniors
As seniors get older, it’s understandable that they feel lonely or isolated when transitioning into your care or the care of someone else. Whether they are suffering from a devastating illness such as Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s, or if they have recently gone through the trauma of losing a spouse, they may feel as if their entire support system has disappeared.
At Seniorcare Homes in Kansas City, we know it’s crucial to establish a caring and active community when working with seniors. When your loved one is feeling lonely and showing signs of isolation or depression, there are activities you can turn to so they can feel more connected.
Prepare and Host a Meal Together
When you are able to supervise, caregivers can plan and host a meal to allow seniors to feel more confident and accomplished, especially if they are given simple tasks or a recipe to follow. Cooking is a positive activity, and it’s easy to get seniors involved no matter their skill level: setting the table, emptying the dishwasher, and mixing ingredients together are all great ways to contribute. When the meal is ready, you can invite one or a few friends or family members to join, or other seniors and their caregivers. The act of inviting people over, even for a couple of hours, can help fight loneliness.
Spend Time Outside
If a senior is feeling isolated, it may be because they’re spending too much time indoors. Research and clinical studies have confirmed that being outside reduces depression and anxiety, and seniors can benefit by simply enjoying the change of scenery. You can start by taking a walk through a public garden or outdoor exhibition in your area. Try to research beforehand if they can make special accommodations for seniors, such as providing places to rest if needed.
Technology can provide a solution for seniors who feel isolated, so a trusted caregiver can use a computer to host a weekly video chat with a close friend or family member who may not live in the area. If your loved one has Alzheimer’s or Dementia, they may not be able to fully lead the conversation, so prompt a discussion by recalling old memories or talking about different activities they enjoy. Families may also sing or play their favorite instrument through a video chat.
Talk to Your Healthcare Provider
It’s important to recognize that loneliness is a symptom of depression, which can cause further mental deterioration in senior patients. You may notice feelings of sadness, loss of appetite, trouble sleeping, or apathy, all of which are serious and should be discussed with a professional healthcare provider.
Seniorcare Homes has extensive experience working with seniors at every stage of life and proudly offers assisted living services, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s care, memory services, and house activities to keep seniors feeling fulfilled and happy. For more information about Seniorcare Homes, visit the contact us page or give our caring facility a call in Kansas City today.