Sadly, for many seniors, loneliness is an attribute that becomes far too familiar with each passing year. Living alone, compromised health status, mobility limitations, lack of contact with family, loss of sense of community, and lack of access to transportation are all risk factors that increase social isolation for seniors. Seniors with physical and mental health issues and low income are at even greater risk. Lack of social interaction is associated with depression, anxiety, loneliness, and increased risk of dementia and cognitive decline. Socially isolated seniors are more likely to drink, smoke, remain sedentary, and eat poorly. They have a higher risk of falls and a much greater risk of hospitalization.
Having a social network of friends and community is imperative for providing seniors with the physical and emotional support they require. So if you have an elderly loved one who is struggling with loneliness, here’s how you can help:
Fitness classes for seniors are one of the best ways to meet new people and develop new friendships. Aside from the physical benefits of getting some added exercise, it also provides your loved one with the healthy, positive type of support that is the best for encouraging strength and growth. There are many classes for seniors with mobility limitations that focus on resistance training and heart health.
What better way to keep the mind sharp than by joining a book club? It’s the perfect combination of stimulating the mind and learning, while conversing with a community of people with similar interests. Plus, it gets seniors out of the house and socializing with familiar faces.
Social Meetup Groups
One of the benefits of having access to the Internet is being able to take advantage of the plethora of meetup groups. You can hop onto a site such as Meetup.com where you can search for specific interests and age groups. So if your loved one has an interest in spending nights out at the theatre, you can search online to find the nearest meetup group for that. Just make sure you vet any group in advance.
There’s a reason why so many seniors flock to the ocean. Cruises are your one-stop-shop for everything senior–related that’s social and fun. Adventure, fresh air, new sites, and friends – it’s one of the best ways to really throw some excitement into the mix with just the right amount of balance between fun and relaxation. Plus, they get to make plenty of new friends while exploring the world.
Getting older shouldn’t have to involve becoming lonely, but sadly, it’s a common part of senior life. If you know someone that is experiencing isolation, you can help restore that sense of community and unlock the many physical, mental, and emotional benefits of social interaction.
In addition to a welcoming and supportive social network, it is important for seniors to have a home environment that is safe and comfortable. Our wide selection of home medical equipment can help seniors increase independence and improve life at home. We also offer free in-home consultations regarding home safety, mobility, and accessibility needs.
Contact us at (905) 471-5224 ext. 23 to learn more!