But as more seniors are living longer and wanting to maintain their independence, isolation is becoming more common. How do you help your loved one stay social and independent when they aren’t in an assisted living community or nursing home around others their age? Here are five ways to help your senior avoid social isolation without compromising their independence.
Join a club or social group
There are plenty of ways for seniors to socialize based on their interests and there truly is something for everyone. Do they like knitting or taking morning walks? Look around your area to see if there are any groups that get together weekly or monthly to do these activities. This gives your senior something to look forward to out of their daily routine and introduces them to friends close by with similar interests!
Hire In-Home Care
If your senior isn’t living in an assisted living community or nursing home, they most likely are highly independent and not in need of much care. However, they could still benefit from a visit a few times a week from a certified care provider from About Care Home Care! We provide services ranging from personal care and medical assistance to cooking and housekeeping or just companionship. Hiring a professional caregiver can help your senior get a break from their everyday routine to do things they may not be able to on their own, from applying lotion in a hard-to-reach spot to going grocery shopping and cooking a homemade meal. Our caregivers remain the same each visit, so your loved one can form a relationship with them and look forward to their visits.
Encourage regular checkups
While major medical issues are normally taken care of, sometimes smaller issues can go under the radar because they don’t seem like big enough problems to warrant a doctor’s appointment. But untreated problems like hearing loss, vision impairment or incontinence may lead a senior to avoid social interaction because of difficulty communicating or embarrassment. By arranging regular checkups with their primary care provider, you can provide a resource to get any problems addressed before they become a reason for isolation.
Give them something to take care of
Many experts agree that the act of nurturing can relieve feelings of social isolation. According to Eve Beals of the peer-reviewed paper, “Emotional Benefits of Dog Ownership”, owners of pets remain “engaged socially, have less depression, suffer less loneliness, feel more secure, have more motivation for the constructive use of time and require less medication than non-pet owners.” Of course, not every senior is capable of taking care of a high-attention animal like a dog or cat, but even caring for a fish or plant will give the same benefits of allowing the senior to feel a sense of responsibility and accomplishment.
Make transportation easily accessible
Many seniors are no longer able to drive, whether due to medications or just declining health problems. This can make it difficult for a senior to get out of the house and socialize. Sit down with your loved one to create a transportation plan. This can include creating a schedule of which sibling is able to transport your parent on different days, helping them to learn public transportation or arranging for someone else to pick them up and take them places. About Care Home Care caregivers can provide transportation for your senior to appointments, the grocery store or outings with friends (like those social clubs we mentioned earlier!). Having a plan of action for transporting your senior eliminates one of the main causes of social isolation while still allowing lots of independence.
Overall, as your senior continues to live on their own, these tips can help them to avoid social isolation while maintaining their freedom to live and enjoy life on their own terms outside of a nursing home. About Care Home Care is here to help provide in-home services to meet the needs of your senior and help them continue to live the life they love.