Do you have one or more loved ones who are seniors? If so, it’s important to realize that senior isolation is a huge issue for older adults. It’s natural to become more isolated as you lose some of your mobility and social opportunities. But with a bit of help, it’s possible to help the older adults in your life enjoy rewarding social opportunities and avoid isolation.
Understanding Senior Isolation
According to a poll by the University of Michigan, over half of adults between the ages of 50 and 80 report feeling isolated in 2020. Though many of these people felt isolated due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many older adults still lack the social interaction they need. The risk of dementia increases by 50% in lonely people who experience social isolation. Other health risks associated with isolation include:
- Mental health disorders
- Heart disease
- Premature mortality
People need other people throughout all stages of life. Adequate socialization may help the older adults in your life maintain optimal health throughout their senior years.
Things You Can Do To Help Seniors Socialize
Many older adults may not have the energy or gumption to get out and socialize with others on their own. So here are some things you can do to combat senior isolation and help your loved ones thrive socially.
Foster a Sense of Purpose
Everyone wants a solid sense of purpose. Sometimes, older adults wonder what they are living for and how they contribute to society. It’s vital to help them see their value. One way to do this is by encouraging them to engage in hobbies they enjoy. Try to choose hobbies that promote healthy social interaction, such as group painting classes, playing bridge, or joining a book club.
Consider Giving Your Loved One a Pet
Animals have a way of bringing out the best in people. They make great companions and can help older adults feel less socially isolated as they age. Nurturing a pet can also help pet owners feel safer and more secure when others aren’t around.
A plant may offer some of the same benefits if your loved one doesn’t have the energy or desire to care for a pet. In addition, caring for a plant can prevent boredom and help senior adults feel more fulfilled.
Facilitate Vision and Hearing Tests
It can be hard to interact with others socially when you can’t hear or see them. If your loved one doesn’t like to talk to others, it may be because they can’t hear or see effectively. You can facilitate regular vision and hearing tests to ensure the senior adult in your life can socialize comfortably.
Talk To a Senior Living Community That Encourages Socialization
If you’re looking for a senior living community to help your loved one thrive, search for one that offers social activities to help combat senior isolation. Elder Care Alliance offers such communities. Your loved one will have access to Life Enrichment programming, which engages the body, mind, and spirit. Our senior living communities help foster a sense of purpose and meaning so your loved one can live a fulfilling life.