5 Creative Strategies for Preventing Isolation in the Elderly

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When seniors live alone, they often become isolated. As they age, they may lack the resources or energy needed to maintain a social network. Social isolation can have a negative impact on the mental and physical health of seniors. Here are five creative ways to prevent senior isolation. 

1. Boost Self-Esteem

Isolation and self-esteem are closely linked. Some studies suggest that when seniors aren’t confident about their personal appearance, they are less likely to socialize. Give your loved one a much-needed self-esteem boost by providing verbal affirmation. Try complimenting a new sweater, a beloved piece of jewelry, or his or her latest hairstyle. If you notice your loved one is neglecting personal hygiene or grooming habits, be positive and sensitive when addressing these issues. To help your loved one establish esteem-boosting habits, take him or her on a shopping trip or find easy-to-use grooming solutions. For example, if your loved one needs a wardrobe update, take him or her out to purchase a few new items. If your loved one is having difficulty with grooming, equip the bathroom with necessary safety features. Bathtub grab bars can help seniors bathe more easily. Once your loved one feels more confident, he or she may be more willing to socialize. 

If your aging loved one needs occasional help with bathing, grooming, cooking, or other basic household tasks, or if you need time to attend to important personal matters, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of live-in and respite care. Mesa seniors can maintain their independence while living at home with the help of our reliable respite caregivers.

2. Encourage Social Hobbies

Many seniors have hobbies that can be done in solitude, like knitting or solitaire. While these hobbies are excellent mental and creative outlets for seniors, you should encourage your loved one to adopt hobbies that require socialization. If your loved one enjoys at-home yoga videos, encourage him or her to sign up for a group exercise class at the local senior center. If your loved one enjoys nature walks, encourage joining a local bird watching club. Turn interests into opportunities for socialization, and your loved one is likely to make new friends. 

Social isolation can lead to a variety of health issues. Seniors who feel isolated or live with serious physical or cognitive health issues can benefit from professional in-home care. If your elderly loved one is living with a serious medical condition and needs help managing the tasks of daily living, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a Mesa home care company you can trust. Our caregivers are available 24/7, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all of our in-home care services.

3. Provide Help with Navigating the Internet

Many seniors have turned to Facebook, Skype, and other social media platforms to connect with friends and family members. They can talk to their grandkids via FaceTime, catch up with old friends via Facebook, and even meet new people through Twitter. Show your loved one how to use these apps. If he or she doesn’t quite get it after the first explanation, be patient. After a few Skype sessions with far away family members, your loved one will likely pick up the basics. 

4. Sign Up for Volunteer Visitors

Not all seniors can leave the house to volunteer for a church bake sale or attend a book club meeting. They may lack the health or transportation needed for independent outings. However, just because your loved one can’t leave the house doesn’t mean he or she can’t socialize. Many local organizations offer senior companion services where people visit seniors to chat and swap stories. Research programs in your area to find suitable senior companions. 

5. Suggest Getting a Pet

Taking care of a dog or cat can provide seniors with a sense of purpose. Cats are great for seniors with limited mobility, while dogs are ideal for seniors who can take them for daily walks. Seniors will receive love and affection from their pet, and the responsibility of caring for an animal can keep them motivated and fulfilled.

Consider hiring a dedicated caregiver if your loved one needs help keeping isolation at bay. Though you may be researching multiple home care agencies, Mesa, AZ, Home Care Assistance has much to offer your family and your elderly loved one. We are leaders in the senior home care industry, offering proprietary programs like our holistic Balanced Care Method and around-the-clock assistance from reliable, experienced caregivers. Trust in Home Care Assistance to help your loved one enjoy a happier and healthier life in the golden years. Whether your loved one needs minor assistance with daily tasks or around-the-clock care, call us at (480) 699-4899 today.