Is loneliness a concern you have for a parent or an elderly friend? A recent study conducted by the Center for Cognitive and Social Neuroscience at the University of Chicago showed that elder loneliness can actually be just as detrimental to seniors as other health problems.
At Home Attendant Care, combating elder loneliness is a goal we strive to work towards – because we see firsthand how regular, consistent socialization can have a positive impact on the lives of NW Washington seniors who are aging in place.
In today’s busy world we can’t always be with our loved ones to provide all of the companionship they need, but there are ways to prevent loneliness in their life even when you’re not around. Here are some tips and suggestions:
• Enroll elders in continuing education courses at a local community college, hospital or local senior centers. Not only will this give them the opportunity to connect with others and have conversations, but the classes will keep their mind active. The feelings of accomplishment upon completing a course can also be highly beneficial.
• Get a pet. Dogs and cats are great pets for seniors; fish or birds can also have a positive effect (and they are easier to care for). Not only does a pet offer companionship, studies have shown that having a pet can actually lower blood pressure.
• Find a social circle that meets regularly, such as a church group or book club. Again, this is a great way for elders to connect with their peers.
• Urge other family members or friends to reach out to your loved one. This can be as simple as suggesting they send a greeting card, drop off a meal or simply call to chat for a bit each week. Just knowing that someone is thinking about them can be incredibly beneficial for senior citizens.
• Lastly, consider hiring a part-time caregiver for companionship and socialization. Professional caregivers help combat elder loneliness, monitor medications and check on the overall safety and well-being of seniors who live alone.
Contact Home Attendant Care to learn how our experienced caregivers can help your loved one live a full, active and engaging life from the comfort of their own home.