When you think about personal wellness, you would often think about struggles with physical health or cognitive-related illnesses like dementia. However, we often forget about loneliness, which can be just as serious, and affects a significant number of older adults. According to the National Institute on Aging, around 28% of older adults live alone and are at risk of feeling lonely. Seniors are more likely to experience loneliness due to factors such as living alone or losing family and friends. As such, it is crucial to ensure that our loved ones can avoid loneliness by spending time with them or encouraging them to pursue new activities. Learn how to deal with loneliness with these useful tips.
Spend Time with Them
Make time to visit your loved ones. Be it planning an activity, or just sitting and chatting, every bit of time spent with your loved ones is invaluable. Connecting them with their grandchildren can bring them insurmountable levels of joy. Actively interact with your loved ones, encouraging them to talk about their feelings and express any unhappiness. This can help you to spot potential issues before they fully develop it’s too late.
Start a New Hobby
Learning is a great way to keep one occupied and stimulate their brains. Start a new hobby as a means for creative endeavors and staying active. You can choose something physical like yoga, or something artistic like painting. Artistic pursuits are excellent at giving a sense of fulfillment, helping navigate emotions, and coping with loneliness. You can also encourage your loved on to join an interest group in their local community to give them opportunities to interact and connect with friendly people who they have something in common with.
Take a Walk Outside
Going out is a great way to meet people and even make new friends. Have your loved ones take a walk around their neighborhood or nearby park. They can greet neighbors and even strangers when they cross paths. This is also a great way to get some exercise in which helps to increase endorphin levels and keep your loved ones happy.
Volunteering not only benefits the community, but also physically and mentally helps older adults combat loneliness. This can range from litter picking which can encourage movement to tutoring children which can expose them to a class of friendly and energetic kids. Participating in meaningful activities can decrease the rate of cognitive and physical decline.
Adopt a Pet
Pets are the best companions for older adults who live alone. They are affectionate and can keep your loved on a good routine. Research have shown that having a pet increases serotonin levels while reducing stress. Adopting energetic pets like dogs is also a great way to give your loved ones reason to go outside regularly.
Move to Senior Living
If your family member wants to avoid the burden of maintaining a house and living alone, a senior living community can be a great place to stay. Senior living communities are able to provide all sorts of services from housekeeping to wellness checkups. The social environment and variety of programs offered also ensures that your loved ones can develop a supportive community and stay physically and mentally active.