Home Instead Blog

6 tips for helping elderly parents cope with loneliness
Dec 09, 2013




Loneliness is one of the leading causes of depression in the senior population. As seniors age, they’re often forced to relinquish activities they love due to diminishing physical capabilities. Friends and loved ones pass away, and seniors can begin to feel isolated.

 

Here are six tips for seniors and family members to help prevent loved ones from becoming lonely:

  • Hire a Professional CAREGiver. Individuals who work as professional CAREGivers love what they do. They are personable, interested and compassionate. A CAREGiver can provide social stimulation as well household help, meal preparation and/or transportation assistance.
  • Adopt a pet. Numerous studies have found that seniors benefit from the animal-human connection. Owning a pet provides companionship 24/7, motivates seniors to take short walks or get outside to a nearby park and provides an unconditionally loving ear to talk to.
  • Senior day care. Adult day care facilities are wonderful caregiver resources. These settings provide a social atmosphere where seniors can hang out, participate in a wide range of activities, take day trips and more. It can become a club of sorts, allowing seniors to get their independent social fix while CAREGivers can run errands or take a much-needed break.
  • Keep active. When favorite hobbies or past-times no longer are possible due to physical limitations, it’s time to find replacements to keep active. Even though a senior may not be able to play tennis anymore, she may be able to join a walking club. Avid readers with failing eyes can join a book club and use audio books to keep up with the literary arts.
  • Volunteer. One way for seniors to stave off loneliness is to serve others in their community. Volunteering has been shown to improve mental well-being, provide a purpose and can even help seniors to live longer.
  • Get a change of scenery. Loneliness often is a sign that it’s time to move into an assisted living community. In addition to providing a safe atmosphere for seniors, assisted living facilities provide socialization and activities that prevent seniors from growing lonely