With over 325 million people living in the United States alone, it’s difficult to imagine that loneliness would be so widespread. Nevertheless, over 50% of the elderly live alone, and more than a million of them are estimated to be chronically lonely. In reality, almost 1/2 of older adults studied stated that their primary source of company is the tv.
Being lonely may result in acute health concerns as well, reported to have as significant an impact as smoking cigarettes and being overweight, and can contribute to depression, hypertension, dementia, and also an earlier mortality rate than others who happen to be socially connected.
What are ways to ensure your senior loved ones avoid sinking into isolation? The Campaign to End Loneliness recommends using the following measurement tool. Check in with the older adults in your life to assess their answers to these three statements:
- I am content with my friendships and relationships.
- I have plenty of people I feel comfortable asking for help at any time.
- My relationships are as fulfilling as I would like them to be.
If loneliness is a problem for a loved one in your life, there are a number of things you can do to help:
- Consult with your senior loved one’s neighbors, friends, and members of his or her religious organization in order to coordinate weekly visits.
- Take advantage of technology, including Facetime and Skype, to allow the senior to be connected remotely.
- Explore available activities and courses for seniors from the nearest community college, senior center, and gym.
It is also essential to eliminate clinical depression or any other health conditions as the underlying reason behind your loved one’s loneliness. A senior who’s isolating herself/himself on account of mental or physical conditions requires professional healthcare services to address the problem and receive relevant care.
One of the best ways to alleviate loneliness in seniors is through engaging the services of Responsive Home Care. Our caregiving companions spend quality time with senior loved ones through:
- Friendly conversations
- Engaging in fulfilling pastimes such as playing games, cards, exercise, hobbies, and favorite pursuits
- Sharing mealtimes with each other
- Providing the transportation and accompaniment necessary to help seniors stay active in the community around them
- And much more
Contact us any time at 954-486-6440 for help in making certain that your senior loved one is socially active and experiencing life to the fullest!