With more than 325 million people residing in the U.S. alone, it is not easy to think that loneliness would be so common. However, more than 50% of older adults live alone, and more than a million of them are estimated to be chronically lonely. In fact, nearly half of older adults researched stated that their most common source of companionship is the television.
Loneliness can bring about severe health concerns as well, reported to have as great an influence as smoking and being overweight, and can produce depression, hypertension, dementia, and also an earlier mortality rate compared to those who are socially connected.
What can you do to be sure that your senior loved ones steer clear of settling into isolation? The Campaign to End Loneliness recommends using the following measurement exercise. Check in with the older adults in your life to gauge their responses to these three statements:
- I am satisfied with my friendships and relationships.
- I have enough people I feel comfortable asking for help whenever needed.
- My relationships are as rewarding as I would want them to be.
If loneliness is a worry for a loved one in your life, there are a lot of actions you can take to help:
- Consult with your senior loved one’s neighbors, friends, and people in his/her religious organization in order to organize frequent visits.
- Employ technology, such as Facetime and Skype, allowing the senior to be connected remotely.
- Investigate available activities and classes for seniors at the regional community college, senior center, and fitness center.
It is also essential to eliminate clinical depression or any other health problems as the root cause of your loved one’s loneliness. A loved one who might be isolating himself or herself as a result of mental or physical conditions calls for experienced health care services to fully manage the condition and receive appropriate treatment.
One of the best strategies to manage loneliness in older adults is by engaging the services of North River Home Care. Our caregiving companions spend quality time with aging parents through:
- Cheerful discussions
- Engaging in rewarding pastimes such as playing games, cards, exercise, hobbies, and favorite interests
- Sharing meals with each other
- Providing the transportation and accompaniment needed to help seniors stay active in the world around them
- And so much more
Contact us online now or call us at 781.905.8432 for assistance in ensuring that your senior loved one is socially active and enjoying life to the fullest!