As we grow older, our network of social connections shrinks, but our need for socialization doesn’t go away…
Recent research reveals how social isolation can harm mental and physical health in seniors. One Brigham Young University study suggests loneliness is as deadly as smoking or obesity, while researchers at the University of Chicago note blood pressure and stress levels are significantly higher in lonely people.
To help keep your aging loved one from suffering from isolation, we have compiled 6 tips to combat loneliness.
Tip 1: Encourage Visitors to Stop & Stay Awhile
Reach out to local friends and neighbors. Often, local contacts would be happy to stop by and visit your loved one. Some congregations and schools even have outreach programs designed to help lonely seniors.
Focus on family time. If you live near your aging relative, make time to visit. Whether you plan an activity or just sit and chat, time with family is invaluable.
A roommate can be a great investment. Not only does shared housing reduce costs, but the daily interactions can prevent senior isolation. There are roommate-matching agencies that perform background checks — necessary for safety in shared living situations — and pair people with common interests and lifestyles.
Home care can combat loneliness in the elderly. In-home caregivers help with tasks like housekeeping, meal preparation, and transportation, but they also provide much-needed companionship.
Consider a Senior Living Community. A move to a senior living community, like Tuscan Gardens, replenishes a person’s network of friends and resources.