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Why Socializing Matters So Much for SeniorsApril 2, 2020 0 Comment Category: Assisted Living
Isolation and the sense of loneliness can have serious impacts on seniors. Studies conducted by the National Institute on Aging at the National Institutes of Health as well as the reports of the Administration on Aging and the Administration for Community Living of the US Department of Health and Human Services have repeatedly highlighted that being socially isolated can be harmful to an individual as they grow older.
Being cut off from family, friends, and the community that they were a part of for years can seriously affect the mental, physical, and emotional well-being of seniors. Some of the most common medical conditions that can result because of isolation include depression, anxiety, diabetes, weakened immune system, cardiac diseases, obesity, high blood pressure, and cognitive decline.
It is seen that socially isolated seniors usually have a much shorter lifespan when compared to their peers who stay connected with their friends and family. Therefore, if you have an older adult in your family who is at risk of social isolation because of their age or poor health condition, then you should take all steps possible to prevent it. Below are some simple ways to overcome social isolation in seniors.
Have More Transportation Options
Lack of transportation services is one of the most commonly cited factors that make seniors feel disconnected from their friends and community. Your elderly family member may not be able to drive as confidently as they used to. You may have scheduled transportation services for their regular visits to the doctor or may have planned your other commitments around that. In other words, transportation services for your senior loved one will only be available for medical appointments and other emergencies. This means that they will have to stay home on other days, which can lead to feelings of isolation.
The best way to deal with this situation is to explore alternative options for transportation and give an option to your senior loved one to reconnect with their friends and community. There are many alternative forms of transportation for seniors – from health vans to volunteer drivers, you can find many different ways to make sure that transportation services are readily available for your senior family member.
Build a Social Circle
It can be very difficult to manage friendships after retirement. Most people move away to be with their children and grandchildren, and this means separation from their old community and friends. An easy way to manage this situation is to help create a social circle for your senior loved one at their new location. There are many local organizations and social clubs out there that allow seniors to connect with other people who are similar to them. This can help to make sure that your elderly family member is engaged and does not feel isolated from their friends and community.
Move to an Assisted Living Community
Many seniors cannot travel to places or move around that easily because of their medical condition or age-related problems. This means that they will have no other option than to stay at home all the time. You may not be able to be there with your senior loved one all the time because of your busy schedule. This can lead to a sense of loneliness in your loved one and may cause a decline in their overall health.
Moving to an assisted living care facility will ensure that your senior loved one gets all the care they need to manage their day-to-day chores. Assisted living facilities believe in community living, and promote seniors to interact with others in the facility to stay connected. Your elderly family member can easily find likeminded people in the assisted living community and enjoy their time there. Assisted living facilities offer healthy meals, wellness programs, and other recreational activities to their residents. They also organize social events like dance classes, book clubs, art workshops, movie nights, etc. This makes sure that your senior loved one stays mentally, physically, and emotionally active.