by: Melanie Farley
According to the Administration on Aging, over 14 million older adults live alone in the US. Unfortunately, social isolation often not only deteriorates one’s mental health, but it leaves seniors at risk for a whole host of other conditions. Since isolated individuals are more likely to neglect their health, lonely seniors are more prone to obesity, diabetes, and even heart disease.
So, socialization is essential for older adults to live happy, fulfilling lives. Read on for a few practical tips to help the beloved senior in your life make friends and stay mentally engaged for years to come.
Adopt a Pet
If your senior is feeling lonely, a furry friend could be just what the doctor ordered! Pet ownership has numerous health benefits for older adults, including lowering stress and reducing blood pressure.
In addition, adopting a pet increases physical activity and could encourage your senior to socialize. For example, they could meet fellow dog owners at a dog park. Regardless, a pet will provide comfort and companionship, which will certainly improve your senior’s life.
Encourage Friends and Family to Visit
Visits from family and friends are vital to your senior’s health and happiness. In fact, studies have shown that intergenerational relationships have enormous health benefits for everyone involved. Younger people benefit from older people’s wisdom, and older people benefits from young people’s energy and vitality.
You might consider making a schedule to ensure that someone is visiting your senior regularly. Your regular visits will promote health and vitality for everyone involved.
Join Social Clubs and Community Organizations
Whether it’s a book club, a walking group, or a volunteer group in the community, seniors benefit from joining a group where they can socialize with likeminded people. Volunteering offers seniors a sense of purpose as they are improving their local communities. Whereas a book club would offer intellectual stimulation in addition to socialization.
You might also consider an adult day care, where your senior can enjoy expert medical monitoring in addition to a range of engaging social activities.
A Final Word…
Senior isolation and loneliness is an epidemic in the US. Since loneliness deteriorates seniors’ physical and mental health, it is essential to find practical ways to combat it. Whether you utilize our tips, or devise new ways of your own, socialization will immensely improve your senior’s life.
Would your senior loved one benefit from expert adult day care in a warm, welcoming environment? The healthcare professionals at Northeast Adult Day Care can provide skilled care, monitoring, and social interaction for your loved one! Reach out to learn more, [email protected].