How can seniors foster connection and reduce loneliness?
For seniors, maintaining social connections and staying in touch with loved ones improves their quality of life and improves health. For example, socially isolated seniors have a 59% greater mental and physical decline risk than those who do not experience social isolation. In addition, social socialization has been shown to slow Alzheimer’s and Dementia patients’ decline.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 11 million, or 28% of people aged 65 and older, now live alone, and almost half of women over 75 live alone. By taking intentional steps to reduce isolation and reduce lack of contact, overall wellbeing is also improved.
So, how can seniors foster connection and reduce loneliness?
Social Media: Facebook, Instagram, and other social media sites can help seniors stay connected to friends and family across the country. Many social media platforms have built-in chat functions, games, and other features that foster connection.
Togetherness Activities: For older adults, planning activities reduce lack of contact. This can be in-person, when possible, or through video chat and phone calls. Virtual or in-person activities can include good conversation, cooking and eating together, reading together, playing games, scrapbooking, or listening to music. Studies show that planning and looking forward to an event can have mental health benefits too!
Online Interaction: Seniors may enjoy virtual meetups, online worship services, Facebook trivia night, virtual communities focused on hobbies, and other online activities that help people connect to others in their community without leaving home. For those that can go out, sharing hobbies and activities with others can bring joy and connection.
Virtual Volunteers: For seniors looking for a sense of purpose, there are opportunities to volunteer to help others from home comfort. This can include building Easter baskets for children’s charities, sewing quilts for shelters, writing cards for military service members overseas, and other activities that allow people to do good works in their free time.
Isolation and loneliness can show that a senior lacks the support and tools needed to live a healthy, independent life. However, fostering positive relationships and connections can be incredibly rewarding for everyone involved with planning and deliberate action.
Platinum Select Nursing Can Help
For seniors that need companionship or help fighting loneliness, our caregivers can help with encouragement, support, and assistance with daily living. And, caregivers can encourage overall health through meal planning, grocery shopping, meal preparation, and activities. In addition, our custom care plans focus on physical and mental health and wellness activities. Our goal is to see that clients have the means to find joy and happiness in each day, regardless of age or understanding. To learn more about our in-home care services, contact us at 561-998-3211.