Many seniors fear isolation, being alone or around people that you don’t know and are afraid to talk to. Not only is isolation sad and frightening, but it can be dangerous as well.
Research has shown that isolated elderly individuals are at a higher risk for certain health problems than those with active social lives.
The good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way. There are ways of helping the elderly avoid this. We’ll talk more about some of the things you can do in the paragraphs below.
1. Encourage Church
We’re not advising that you push religion on an aging relative. However, if you have one who is religious, church attendance can be helpful.
Older people, as a general rule, tend to be more religious than younger people. The only two groups where young adults make up the largest group of believers are Buddhists and Muslims.
Among Catholics, Jews, and Protestants, the number of believers who are 65 or older is quite high. For these groups especially, a church can be an excellent way to expand social circles.
2. Owning a Pet
Owning a pet gives seniors something to care about and spend their time with. It can encourage us to be more active, which in turn leads to better health.
Many argue that there are risks that come with owning a pet for seniors. What if they are low on money and choose to take care of the pet rather than themselves? What if they don’t want to seek medical help because they fear having to leave the pet alone?
Having a good support system can be the end of this argument. Knowing that somebody is willing to take the pet in for a few days can assuage such fears.
A good support system can also solve the problem of money. Helping the elderly with financial decisions may keep them from falling short of money. They can also loan them money if necessary.
3. Social Dining
Some important things to know about isolation is that it can be dangerous and that enjoying meals in groups can improve our nutrition and social lives.
Some of the greatest conversations you have may occur at the dinner table. That’s one of the reasons cafes are still popular. It’s a place far away from the television, where you’re forced to engage with the other person and learn more about them.
The elderly benefit from this as well. You may find out new things about them. Perhaps your grandpa can ballroom dance, and it never came up before.
Social Isolation and Helping the Elderly Avoid it
Helping the elderly avoid social isolation can be difficult, but it’s worth it. An active social life could mean a few more years with your loved one.
There are many ways to encourage this. We’ve mentioned a few of them in the paragraphs above, but there are many more. We encourage you to do more research on your own if you’re interested.
If you want more news and information about helping others, visit more of our site today.