Social isolation is common in seniors. It’s thought that staying active and social during the golden years can prevent both medical and psychological issues. Here are six causes of social isolation in seniors and how you can help your aging loved one stay socially active.
1. Hearing Deficits
Seniors with impaired hearing may avoid socializing because they don’t want friends or family members to know their hearing is poor. Also, when older adults are unable to hear well, they may feel left out if they’re unable to comprehend conversations. If you suspect your loved one has problems with hearing, make an appointment with an audiologist.
2. Mood Disorders
Depression and anxiety may keep your loved one from socializing. Some seniors who are anxious experience agoraphobia, or fear of leaving the house. Similarly, if your loved one lives with depression, he or she may be unable to get dressed, bathe, or even get out of bed. If you notice mood changes, see a physician, who may refer your loved one to a mental health professional for further evaluation and treatment.
Social isolation can result in mental, emotional, and physical challenges for aging adults, but they don’t have to manage them alone. Senior home care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy.
3. Mobility Limitations
Seniors who have chronic pain or limited mobility may avoid going out to socialize. Depending on the cause and severity of the mobility issue, your loved one may experience pain and have a fear of falling. If your loved one has difficulty walking because of pain, make sure he or she takes all prescribed pain medications. Also, consider getting your loved one a walking device such as a four-prong cane to enhance stability so he or she has more confidence in being able to socialize away from home.
Seniors with mobility limitations could also develop serious illnesses, making it a challenge to care for themselves. If your aging loved one needs occasional help with bathing, grooming, cooking, or other basic household tasks, or if you need time to attend to important personal matters, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of live-in and respite care. University Park seniors can maintain their independence while living at home with the help of our reliable respite caregivers.
4. Lack of Socialization
If your loved one no longer has any friends or family members who live close by, he or she may become socially isolated. You can help by scheduling periodic social outings that give your loved one a chance to see people and interact with them in various settings. Good choices for outings include senior centers, shopping malls, pet shelters, restaurants, and parks.
5. Cognitive Deficits
If your loved one has Alzheimer’s or another type of dementia, he or she may be unable to socialize with others without help from a caregiver. If you’re the primary caregiver for your loved one, spend as much time as possible with him or her. Also, encourage phone calls from other family members and friends so your loved one stays connected to the outside world. For additional stimulation and socialization, consider getting a dog or cat for your loved one. The tactile stimulation and friendly socialization provide a wide array of health benefits.
6. Inability to Drive
Once a senior’s driving privileges have been taken away, he or she may lose interest in socializing. When seniors are still allowed to drive, it reminds them that they’re still independent. If your loved one cannot drive anymore because of vision impairment, illness, or cognitive decline, contact agencies in your area to learn about transportation options available to seniors.
Social activity is only one of many factors that contribute to robust mental and physical health in seniors. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of elderly home care. University Park families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet their elderly loved ones’ unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia. To create a customized home care plan for your loved one, call Home Care Assistance at (214) 363-3400 today.