Loneliness poses a significant concern among elderly people. Aging seniors sometimes suffer emotional distress due to a feeling of disconnection and protracted bouts of depression. Ill health, the loss of important family or workplace responsibilities, and the deaths of close family members, friends, or pets may all take a heavy health toll on people in the over-65 age demographic.
Additionally, seniors often feel confused by technological and social changes within society. They frequently lack the ability to cope with rapid changes as effectively and nimbly as younger people. Do you hold concern about the well-being of a lonely aging parent or other relative? Consider taking these four steps to help brighten someone’s life:
One: Schedule Some Time to Spend With Mom or Dad
To really bolster the well-being of a senior struggling with loneliness, it makes sense to spend time with that person. Even if they maintain a frenetic schedule of daily activities, most people have an opportunity to set aside a block of quality hours to become better acquainted with a beloved senior. For example, take your elderly Mom or Dad out to lunch and a movie once or twice a month; or visit them in an assisted living center for a few hours every week. Nothing trumps your personal investment of time and interest.
Two: Teach Your Elderly Loved One to Use a Cell Phone
Although some seniors resist exploring high tech gadgets, most of them can learn to use a cell phone with large, easily-located keys. Companies such as Opel Mobile manufacture excellent specialized lines of mobile devices specifically designed for seniors. Consider teaching your loved one to use this technology. You’ll gain peace of mind knowing they’ll have a better opportunity to summon assistance during an emergency. Plus, you’ll help your senior stay connected with friends and family members on a daily basis.
Three: Encourage Lifelong Learning
Today, many educational institutions offering courses in a variety of subjects allow seniors to audit the classes. By encouraging a lonely senior to attend regular classes, you’ll help this individual meet people, interact with others on a regular basis, and develop new and stimulating interests. Loneliness as an emotion usually involves a high degree of self-absorption; you need to encourage a more outward focus for your loved one. Participating in the educational process may help dispel a senior’s loneliness and negativity.
Four: Promote a Healthy Level of Physical Activity
Although you should not ask an infirm senior to exercise too strenuously, consider speaking with your loved one’s physician about a reasonable level of physical activity. Check whether you can enroll your aging parent in a dance class or a yoga class. Supervised regular physical exercise often provides a way for seniors to keep in shape and feel better about themselves in the process. For example, a walking program designed for older people provides the participants with a chance to remain limber while also meeting and interacting with peers.
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