A recent University of California San Francisco (UCSF) study showed that 18 percent of seniors live alone; moreover, 43 percent report feeling regularly lonely. While feelings of loneliness can impact a senior’s mood and general outlook, more and more studies are citing that loneliness can also have a dramatic impact a senior’s health and wellness. Seniors who are lonely report a higher incidence of depression, heart disease and even some forms of cancer.
At Home Care Assistance we are proud to provide home care Fort Myers families trust, and we base our approach to care on ensuring that all of a senior’s needs – physical, cognitive and emotional – are met. With this in mind, we wanted to share some of the ways that your family can help combat loneliness in a senior parent, grandparent or loved one.
Keep the routine in tact
. With age, certain activities such as cooking and cleaning can become more difficult for seniors to perform. However, seniors who are able to maintain as much of their regular routine as possible are often more likely to experience feelings of independence and self-worth. Encourage your loved one to continue with their regular housework activities to the best of their ability and offer to help whenever possible.
. Over time, a senior may begin to slack in terms of maintaining his or her personal hygiene because they feel there is no point, especially if they are not visiting with friends and family regularly. Self-care, however, is important for self-esteem and can help a senior maintain a positive attitude if he or she live alone. If your loved one struggles with bathing or dressing, Fort Myers hourly care from a reputable home care agency can provide professional caregivers to assist your loved one with personal care activities on an as-needed basis.
Bring over a pet or plant.
Loneliness among senior adults can often be alleviated when the senior has something to care about. Whether an animal companion or even a plant, having something to tend to and take care of can help seniors stay motivated. With pets in particular, being able to reach out pet and care for an animal that shows affection back can help seniors feel connected and engaged.
. The Internet has many seniors learning the use of Facebook or how to send emails to friends and family members. Video chatting on laptops or tablets can also allow your loved one to see the person they are communicating with, and online forums give your loved one the opportunity to chat and even meet with people who share common interests.
Help find new friends
. Getting out of the house to a weekly church event, sharing a shopping experience at the grocery store with a caring neighbor, or even having someone from a licensed home-care agency come by on certain days a week for one or two hours can provide seniors with the companionship needed to combat loneliness and depression.
Whatever strategy you may use with a senior loved one, keeping them engaged with others and the outside world promotes a happier, healthier lifestyle. To learn more about companionship care for an aging parent or loved one, reach out to the Fort Myers live-in care experts at Home Care Assistance and ask about our flexible care schedules with no long-term contracts. Call 239-449-4701 to schedule your free in-home consultation today.