How to Prevent Social Isolation in Seniors

How to Prevent Social Isolation in Seniors


Social isolation is a leading cause of mental health issues in the elderly. Keeping your aging loved ones socially active is the most critical aspect of caring for their wellbeing. Depression, anxiety, stress, and even memory loss are preventable if your loved one stays physically and socially active throughout their golden years. Here are a few tips on how seniors can live more active and engaging lives.

Address Any Mobility Issues

Any issue that might prevent seniors from leaving their homes can be considered a mobility issue. Physical mobility, incontinence, hearing, and vision are all factors that can impact a senior’s ability to socialize. Finding solutions to these problems can make your loved one more comfortable and able to participate in group activities and events.

Family Outings

Find activities such as bowling, picnics, or hiking that can be fun for the whole family. The goal is to get your loved one out of the home, get them active, and provide them with social interaction. Even if their interaction is limited to the family, it can still be hugely beneficial to their mental health. When possible, incorporate physical activity as well. A physically fit senior retains both their mental health and their independence.

Senior Exercise Groups

Exercise is an important part of aging well. Many forms of senior exercise take place in group contexts. Some popular examples are walking groups, Tai Chi, and swim aerobics. Walking groups form in neighborhoods where seniors who live nearby come together and go for daily walks, incorporating both socialization and low-demand exercise.

Tai Chi is a form of low-impact exercise that often takes place in parks and focuses on balance. It’s particularly effective for seniors as a preventative measure against falls. The fresh air and group dynamic make it a great way to get your loved ones out of the house and into a social setting. Swim aerobics is another good low-impact activity that is fun to do as part of a group or on your own at a local pool.

Post-Retirement Jobs

As counterintuitive as it seems, a part-time, post-retirement job can be very valuable for seniors. Places of employment are where we find friends in coworkers, consistent interaction with customers, and mental challenges in the everyday line of work. A flexible part-time job can offer limited hours, a small supplementary income, and sometimes even healthcare benefits. It’s a great way for your loved one to find meaning in their daily life, socialize, and keep their minds and bodies working.

Religious Activities

If your loved one is religious, encourage participation in religious activities. Attending services, social church events, and volunteering opportunities through their place of worship is a perfect way to foster friendships and interaction. Furthermore, religion can often fill an important role in the life of a senior. It can provide a sense of purpose and comfort on top of creating a social network of like-minded people.

Though social isolation is a huge problem among the elderly, it isn’t due to a lack of opportunity. Plenty of programs, organizations, and activities exist to keep seniors involved and active. It’s a matter of bringing your loved one to beneficial activities and encouraging their independence. A few fun classes or services can make all the difference in the mental and physical health of your loved one.

Marie Villeza hopes to fight ageism by connecting seniors with the resources they need to live happy, healthy lives. To aid her efforts, she developed ElderImpact.org, which offers senior citizens and their caregivers resources and other advice that will help them make the best decisions for their lives in an ever-changing world.
 

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Alternatives for Seniors is a print and online directory that specifically caters to the housing and personal care concerns of senior citizens and their families. Call our Senior Specialists at (888) WE-ASSIST (888-932-7747) or visit the Alternatives for Seniors website to begin searching for the perfect home for you or your loved ones.

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Thank You to Our Guest Blog Writer:

Marie Villeza

marie@elderimpact.org ǀ http://elderimpact.org/
 

BLOG Date: Thursday, September 8, 2016