How to Help Your Loved One with Loneliness and Social Isolation

Feeling lonely and being socially isolated can often affect the elderly. While they are not the same thing, the negative health effects from struggling with either or both can reduce the quality of life of your aging loved one.

Loneliness is a distressing feeling of being alone or separated from the ones you love. A person can feel lonely even when it appears they are surrounded by people. For example, an elderly person living in a nursing home with lots of other residents can still feel very lonely because of the absence of connection to her loved ones. Social isolation is the lack of social contact and having regular, meaningful connections with people. Someone can live alone and not feel socially isolated because of the other outside connections a person has.

As your loved one has aged, certain life circumstances have occurred that may cause her to feel either lonely or socially isolated. She may have lost loved ones such as siblings or a spouse causing her to have a lot less trusted companions in the world. She may have had to move to a new area to live near her children for health reasons, leaving behind people she’s known for decades.

Luckily, with a few intentional actions, both loneliness and social isolation can be combatted and your loved one can feel connected again. Here are a few simple ways to help her connect with old friends or perhaps make some new ones.

Rely on Home Care Assistance

Home Care Assistance in Victor NY

Home Care Assistance in Victor NY

Sometimes the elderly are embarrassed or don’t want others to visit them. If they’re concerned about how the home looks or if they’ll look okay, having a home care assistance provider over to the home before guests arrive can be a great resource. A home care assistance provider can help clean and prepare the home for guests, as well as help your loved one get dressed, fix her hair, and maybe even set out a snack or drink.

Join a club

If your loved one has an interest, there’s nothing more gratifying than gathering with others who share that passion. If she loves art, local museums may have social groups that meet. If the great outdoors is her passion, she might join a walking club or a naturalist committee. When she needs to go to a meeting, her home care assistance provider can drive her to and from locations so that she doesn’t have to miss out.

Volunteer

Another great way to connect and dispel loneliness, as well as social isolation, is to volunteer. Most organizations are thrilled for volunteers so it can great way to have a little fun while connecting with others and serving the community. She can check with her place of worship or a senior center nearby for volunteer opportunities that will play to her strengths.

Pick up the phone

It might seem basic, but sometimes regular phone calls help alleviate those feelings of loneliness and social isolation. Ask family members to regularly call or even send cute photos of the grandkids to her phone. So long as she knows she’s not been forgotten about, the loneliness and social isolation she was feeling should be lessened by simple, regular connections.

If you or an aging loved one is considering home care assistance in Victor, NY, please contact the caring staff at Touching Hearts at Home of Rochester today. 585-271-7390