Withdrawal. Loneliness. Isolation. Thoughts about death. Feelings of uselessness. Sadness. All these are part of the equation of growing old. Studies have linked withdrawal and loneliness with health implications, such a cognitive decline, hospitalization and frequent falls. It’s common for senior citizens to feel left out, isolated and unwanted. Here are some ways how you could help the elder in your family feel more connected.
1. Get them a pet
Taking care of a pet shifts focus to looking after and playing with the pet. Studies have confirmed the emotional benefits of pets, such as relieving stress and preventing depression. Having pets allows owners to remain occupied, feel secure and enhance motivation to focus on something else rather than one’s state of loneliness. Looking after pets is a constructive utilization of time and resources. If the older adult is capable of looking after a pet, ownership can help prevent a lot of health and emotional problems. For instance, dog owners suffer less from stress, tension and blood pressure. Playing with pets activates serotonin and dopamine, which play a significant role inducing relaxation and happiness.
2. Encourage hobbies
Keeping the mind occupied in productive activities is important to prevent anxiety or depression. Encourage older adults to pursue activities that they love and probably never had the time to enjoy before retirement.
Have them join dancing or aerobic classes. Encourage them to bring out their creative, artistic side, whether its painting, photography or crafts. Find something for them to stimulate their brains and keep them positively engaged. There are numerous health benefits in arts and crafts. Colors are known to induce positive emotions. Art therapy is beneficial in stimulating the brain, reliving positive moments and enhancing quality of life. Activities such as joining classes gives them the opportunity to socialize and lower risks of age-related disorders. Gardening is also an activity that has therapeutic effects. It enables older adults to remain physically active, enhance mobility and motor skills, be around nature for relaxation and reduce stress levels.
3. De-limit limitations
Senior citizens are prone to losing their hearing or eyesight as they grow older. This could cause them to feel embarrassed in social situations and feel anxious or avoid social gatherings. Encourage them to get hearing and eyesight tests done. Help them get over their deficits by providing adaptive technologies, such as hearing aids and walkers. Convince them not to feel embarrassed because of these devices. Persuade them to take advantage of the available technology and remain involved in social interactions.
4. Dine together
Food is an important symbol of unity as it brings people together and encourages conversations. Put all devices away and interact with seniors. Ask about their day. Ask them about their weekend plans. Share your plans with them. Ask them for advice. If you know of any classes that they could join, inform them. Ask them if they need anything. Be considerate of their feelings. Keep a check on their medical records and make sure they receive adequate healthcare.
As a provider of home care services, companionship is always a part of our service. Our caregivers can participate with and enable your elderly loved one in all four areas discussed above.
If you or an aging loved one are considering home care in Costa Mesa, CA or the surrounding Orange County areas, please call us at 949-535-2211. We provide senior care services in Newport Beach, Costa Mesa, Huntington Beach, Irvine, Laguna Woods, Laguna Beach, Mission Viejo and surrounding areas of Orange County California. Contact us today to learn more.