How to Help Seniors Avoid Feelings of Isolation

To learn more about our non-profit continuing care community on Skidaway Island, GA, please call us today at 800-889-6238 or request a brochure.

Depression is an unfortunately common problem among seniors. And, a large reason for its prevalence is due to the fact that so many elderly adults suffer from feelings of isolation.

Feelings of isolation are often a normal part of the aging process, if for any other reason than some seniors simply outlive their friends and family. As one's list of friends grows shorter and shorter, they start experiencing more and more time alone and thus, they feel isolated from their otherwise usual social circle.

Thankfully, there are some ways you can help your loved one avoid feelings of isolation as they age. Here are some of the best ways to promote and encourage connectedness for your loved one.

Help Them Gain a Sense of Purpose

When a senior feels as though they have a purpose, they will be less likely to suffer from feelings of loneliness. This can be accomplished through participating in hobbies or becoming involved in a social group within their community. Volunteering is another excellent way to get involved. By being more engaged in tasks and responsibilities, a senior will feel more valued and needed, and this will greatly help improve their mental state.

Make Transportation Available

Some seniors start feeling alone once they lose their ability to drive. They can't come and go like they used to and this can be a big blow to have to deal with. Therefore, making transportation available for your loved one can be a much-needed help. This can be anything from teaching your loved one how to use public transportation, planning shopping trips with her, or providing her with free bus passes.

Give Them a Pet

Nothing can lift a senior's spirits quite like a dog. And, the act of taking care of the dog gives a senior something to focus on other than their sense of isolation. A pet is a companion and caring for them is a task that gives a senior a sense of purpose. If your community doesn't allow dogs, then you can always opt for a cat or a bird. Even fish can help break your loved one's cycle of depression.

Encourage Religious Participation

Sometimes, when an adult ages, they start reducing their participation in their church. And, when faith has played a large role in their life up to that point, losing that connection isn't helpful in managing one's feelings of loneliness. Therefore, encouraging your loved one to go to weekly worship services and participate in their church's events can really help them feel more connected.

Encourage Them to Have Their Vision and Hearing Checked Regularly

If a senior's eyesight or hearing is starting to diminish, then they will gradually start lessening the time they spend in social situations. So, make sure they keep their hearing and eyesight as strong as possible by encouraging them to have their vision and hearing checked regularly. Sometimes simply updating an eyeglass prescription or getting a hearing aid can make a huge difference in how a senior experiences life.

Encourage a Positive Body Image

As we age and become less active, our bodies naturally grow softer and weight gain can occur. This can often leave seniors with a negative self-image. You can help improve the situation by encouraging a positive body image through positive compliments and comments. If your loved one is genuinely overweight, encouraging them to engage in daily exercise and eating a healthier diet will let them know that you care about them and this could spark a return to a healthier lifestyle.

Encourage Dining Out With Friends

Sometimes it's just fun to get out for a while and nothing feels better than having dinner with friends. Encourage your loved one to plan a dinner date with some of her closest friends. This is a major stepping stone and will help get her more acclimated to social settings.

Ensure They Have Adaptive Technologies Available

Adaptive technologies like walkers, hearing aids, and other assistive products simply make life easier for those who need them. If your loved one is in need of adaptive technologies, make sure she has what she needs and this will help her become more engaged in her community.

Manage Incontinence Issues

Another common reason why a senior might remove themselves from social situations is an incontinence problem. If you have a loved one who is suffering from incontinence issues, helping them get the medical care and treatments that can help will help them manage their condition so they can feel more confident during social outings.

Be Extra Supportive To Seniors Who Have Recently Lost a Friend or Spouse

Seniors who lose a friend or a spouse are at high risk for developing depression. Therefore, if your loved one loses a friend or their spouse passes away, you need to step up and provide them with the care and support they need to get through this painful time.

Give a Random Hug

It's commonplace to hug a loved one when seeing them or leaving them, but hugging them randomly during your visit will make them feel even more loved. Plus, science shows that the act of touching another, such as with a hug or simply holding hands, greatly promotes feelings of well-being.

Notify Their Neighbors

If your loved one is suffering from early-onset dementia or some other health problem, then it will be beneficial if you notify her neighbors so they can keep an eye on her when you're not there. This will make your loved one feel safer and more connected to those around her and you'll be notified immediately in the event your loved one needs help.

Visit The Marshes Life Plan Community in Savannah GA

The Marshes of Skidaway Island is a luxurious life plan community located off the coast of Savannah GA. Our community is ideally-situated to help seniors enjoy an active and socially-engaged lifestyle. From our resort-like campus to our restaurant-style dining hall and refined apartments and homes, you'll find everything you need here to life an excellent quality of life. At The Marshes, feelings of isolation are a thing of the past because your loved one will be quick to find friends with similar interests.

To learn more about The Marshes of Skidaway, or to schedule a visit to our luxurious life plan community in Savannah, please call us today at 800-889-6238.