Study after study shows social isolation can have serious physical and mental affects on seniors, making it all the more important to find ways to help increase opportunities for socialization. If you’re unsure where to start, the Westfield senior care experts at Home Care Assistance offer these seven suggestions.
- Commit to a phone schedule. In a world where text messages and social media dominate interpersonal communication, regular phone calls often go by the wayside. You can help your loved one feel less isolated through regular phone calls with him or her. You can also set up Skype or another messaging service that allows for face-to-face communication.
- Get online. While nothing beats a real-life chat, studies show seniors who are active on social media experience a wealth of benefits including increased happiness and prolonged cognitive abilities. Spend some time helping your loved one set up a social media account and show him or her how to use the basic features to get started.
- Tap into spirituality. Attending religious services has been proven to decrease the feelings of loneliness in older adults because of the sense of community geared toward a higher, positive purpose. Your loved one doesn’t necessarily have to be religious–a non-religious group meditation session can offer the same benefits.
- Consider a pet. Pets offer companionship, which can be especially beneficial for seniors who live alone. Make sure you choose an animal that is small in size, low maintenance, and already house-trained.
- Go back to school. If your loved one is able, encourage him or her to enroll in an adult education class through a local community college or learning annex. Learning something new promotes mental acuity and the group setting creates camaraderie.
- Find a yoga studio. Although any group fitness activity is a great way for seniors to make new friends, yoga is gentle and healing for the body and mind. Be sure to speak with your loved one’s physician before beginning any new physical activity.
- Take up a new hobby. Check out community centers or visit your local senior center to find free classes for your loved one. Whether it’s pottery, bird watching or music, sharing a new hobby with others is a great way for your loved one to meet new people and foster friendships.
You might also consider part-time home care in Westfield. A hourly caregiver from Home Care Assistance can help your loved one with everyday activities, provide transportation to and from social engagements, classes, or appointments, and offer regular companionship to stave off feelings of loneliness. Learn more about our flexible hourly care plans by calling 908.450.9400. A friendly and knowledgeable Care Manager can schedule a complimentary in-home consultation. We look forward to hearing from you.