How to Prevent Loneliness in Older Adults
July 7 2022
These days it is not uncommon for seniors to experience loneliness in their daily lives. In fact, approximately fourteen million older adults live by themselves here in the United States. For many of these isolated seniors, loneliness can become a serious problem. Research studies have found correlations between social isolation and loneliness that lead to poor health outcomes. This can include increased anxiety, dementia, obesity, hypertension, and a weakened immune system.
For aging seniors, limiting physical capabilities can make it harder to stay social. Many seniors become less mobile, become hard of hearing or struggle with chronic conditions that make it hard to be amongst others. With more seniors wanting to stay at home, isolation only adds to this problem. Thankfully, there are many effective ways to fight back against loneliness and its detrimental effects on senior health. Keep reading to learn more!
Schedule Time for Socialization
One great way to fight loneliness is by scheduling time for socialization. By making this a priority, seniors are more likely to interact with their friends, family, and community members. The good news is that socializing is easier than ever these days.
Seniors can choose from various communication channels to stay in touch with others, such as:
Video chats and conferencing
Social media platforms
For seniors that struggle with technology, taking some courses or lessons on using the internet and digital communication tools can be highly beneficial. Doing so opens up a world of possibilities for socialization and interconnectedness that is especially valuable for those with physical limitations.
Volunteer in the Community
Seniors who volunteer can look forward to a host of benefits to their health, relationships, and mental well-being. Giving back to others boosts feelings of happiness and positivity while helping to reduce the risk of dementia and other health problems. Volunteering also makes it easy to meet other people and socialize with others interested in doing something good for their community. This can lead to new friendships and bring a new sense of meaning and purpose back into the lives of older adults.
In addition to the above, older adults can expect to see an uptick in their physical activity when volunteering. Staying active is vital for helping seniors stay healthy and can also help reduce the risk of falling.
Consider Adopting a Pet
Taking care of a pet can do wonders for seniors that need some company in their lives. Pets can help older adults establish a manageable routine and bring purpose to everyday life. Seniors with pets are also more likely to stay active as pets require care such as walks and playtime on a regular basis. Having a pet can make it easier for seniors to socialize and meet other people with pets that are looking for friendship.
Pets are also a great source of love and joy for their owners. Seniors can enjoy some great moments bonding with their beloved animals and experience lower levels of stress thanks to these relationships. Knowing that they are loved by another creature so much can truly help prevent loneliness for seniors, even if they live by themselves.
Learn Something New
Taking the time to learn something new can really help seniors that are feeling lonely. New hobbies and interests can make it easier for older adults to meet like-minded people and form new friendships. This can be done in a community center or in programs held for local seniors looking to stay involved.
Learning new skills can help seniors stay in touch with societal changes while engaging their brains in new and interesting ways. On the flip side, seniors with valuable knowledge can help others learn by teaching a course or offering important words of wisdom to those that are interested.
As you can see, there are so many great ways for seniors to prevent loneliness in their golden years. Making socialization a priority is a great first step and can make it easier to schedule communication with friends and family. Getting out into the community and volunteering, taking a class, and engaging with like-minded people is also an excellent way to feel connected and engaged with others. Doing so can help keep the mind sharp and make it easier to stay active on a regular basis. Pets can also assist in this regard and bring lots of love and joy into the lives of aging adults.
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