Five Ways to Help Your Aging Parents Beat the Senior Loneliness Epidemic
Loneliness has become an epidemic among seniors. Even those with families or living spouses may feel depressed and forgotten. When the elderlyfeel lonely, they are more likely to stay at home and act unpleasantly, pushing people away and thus reinforcing their isolation. There are five simple things you can do to help your aging parents beat loneliness.
Make your visits meaningful. Don’t watch the clock, play with your phone, or engage in small talk. Connect with your parents by giving them eye contact and physical affection and having deep conversations. Ask them about their fears and relationships. Make sure they aren’t being scammed. Look for chores you can do around the house every time you visit. When you are genuinely caring, they will feel it and be uplifted.
Whether you live across the country or in town and visit often, maintain contact with your parents several days a week. Hearing your voice and having a listening ear can be very therapeutic for them. They love you and want to know they are still important to you.
A useful thing you can do to keep them in touch with other family members and friends is to teach them how to use technology. Show them how to make a video call through Skype or FaceTime. Set up an email account and advise them to only give their address to people they know and trust to avoid spam and scammers. Sign them up for social media so they can see photos of loved ones and stayupdated on their lives. Be careful with social media, though. If used improperly or as a substitute for live interaction, it can lead to morefeelings of isolation instead of fewer.
Find senior centers, groups, clubs, or functions in the community for your parents to participate in. It will encourage them to get out of the house and look forward to a consistent activity. They may also discover a new hobby and make new friends, both of which help dispel loneliness.
Whenever you visit, take your parents out to events of interest to them. Some ideas include going to the theater or a concert, visiting a museum or exhibit, attending a festival or show, or watching a parade or other celebration. Remind them of the things they enjoy and that life still has so much to offer them.
Your aging parents don’t have to join the ranks of lonely seniors. With your assistance, they can become active, connected older adults who make the most of the time they have left on earth. For more information on a senior community in Santa Cruz, visit this website.
Emily advises people on health and senior care. You can find her thoughts at senior care aid blog on blogspot.