Social isolation has a detrimental effect on seniors. When they don’t have regular social contact with other people, their overall wellbeing decreases. Socially isolated seniors are more likely to experience health issues and have a sense of hopelessness about the future. For this reason, family caregivers should be aware of these common causes of social isolation in seniors so they can take steps to address them.
1. Fears Regarding Incontinence
Older adults with incontinence sometimes stop going out in public because they’re afraid of having accidents. You can help your senior loved one regain confidence by taking steps to reduce the incontinence if possible. Then let your loved one know you or another caregiver will accompany him or her out in public to help if an issue arises.
2. Difficulty Driving
Seniors sometimes experience transportation issues that stop them from attending social events. Even if your loved one still drives, he or she may avoid it whenever possible if he or she no longer feels comfortable driving with hearing or vision loss. Make sure your loved one has transportation to get anywhere he or she needs to go.
3. Mobility Challenges
Seniors who have walking difficulties may prefer to stay home and avoid seeing other people. Provide assistance that allows your loved one to move about in public with ease. Whether your loved one needs someone to push his or her wheelchair or just lend a supportive arm, having help means he or she will be more likely to go out and socialize.
Seniors with mobility limitations could also develop serious illnesses, making it a challenge to care for themselves on their own. If your senior loved one needs around-the-clock assistance at home, the Allen live-in care professionals at Home Care Assistance are here to help. Our proprietary Balanced Care Method was designed to promote longevity by encouraging seniors to focus on healthy eating, regular exercise, mental engagement, and other important lifestyle factors.
4. Living Alone
When seniors live alone, they’re isolated for the majority of each day. In these situations, you may have to help your loved one make an extra effort to see other people. For example, you can have a professional caregiver visit every day for a couple of hours. You can also sign your loved one up for classes or another type of social activity that occurs on a regular basis.
Emotional health issues sometimes cause seniors to feel as though they prefer to be alone. Be alert for signs of depression, such as suddenly withdrawing from a group of friends. If you notice depression, help your loved one seek a professional diagnosis, then provide encouragement that helps him or her feel motivated to socialize. For example, you can offer to go with your loved one to a family member’s birthday party. Socializing often alleviates depression in seniors.
Social activity is only one of many factors that contribute to robust mental and physical health in seniors. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of home care services. Allen families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia.
6. Memory Loss
Some seniors are aware of their cognitive decline, and socializing is intimidating when they experience memory loss. Offer to go with your loved one to social events where you can help out by dropping someone’s name that he or she may not remember into the conversation. You can also boost your loved one’s cognitive abilities through brain-training games and other healthy lifestyle practices.
Social isolation can result in mental, emotional, and physical challenges for aging adults, but seniors don’t have to manage them alone. In Allen, elder care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy. If you need professional home care for your aging loved one, our Care Managers are just a phone call away. Reach out to Home Care Assistance today at (972) 548-0392.