Have you considered that isolation among seniors may be very common, even more so right now with pandemic restrictions? Social isolation can significantly impact health, well-being, and quality of life for seniors. Let us take a look at seven ways to help seniors avoid social isolation.
- Join the Club. There may be a number of clubs open to seniors that are social in nature, and many senior centers have successfully transferred activities to online formats. Whether it is a knitting circle, book club, community college class, game night, or hiking group, seniors who remain active in their hobbies and clubs may have something to look forward to each week. Seniors can also volunteer with many organizations, from tutoring in schools to working at an animal shelter. This type of involvement can help them feel fulfilled while also providing social interaction.
- Hearing and Vision Care. Seniors with hearing or vision impairments can experience additional isolation because they feel unable to fully connect with others. Even when they are surrounded by friends, if they cannot hear the conversation or see what is going on, they can feel lonely. Glasses, hearing aids, and other devices can help seniors stay engaged, which can help them maintain meaningful relationships.
- Incorporate Technology. Thanks to Zoom and other online platforms, it may be easier than ever to connect with people, even when we are apart. Taking the time to teach your loved one how to use video calling, Zoom, social media, and chats can make it easier to connect more often. There are even devices designed with larger buttons and louder speakers for seniors.
- Eat a Meal Together. When it may be safe to be together, enjoy a meal together. Until then, try a Zoom dinner, or have a picnic outside the window of a senior loved one. Eating together can significantly reduce feelings of isolation.
- Address Issues of Incontinence. Obviously, a senior with incontinence issues may be reluctant to leave home. When incontinence can be appropriately addressed by medical professionals, they can feel more comfortable leaving home without the fear of embarrassment.
- Adopt a Pet or a Plant. Taking care of a pet, or a plant if pets may not be appropriate, can give anyone a new sense of purpose. Caring for and helping something grow can not only reduce isolation and depression, but it can help seniors feel more secure and help them engage more socially.
- Make Transportation Available. Many seniors do not drive, and this can become the primary cause of isolation. Helping them to safely use public transportation, or finding other transportation options, can greatly decrease feelings of loneliness.
For more information about isolation and other issues facing seniors, please reach out to our office to schedule an appointment. We do telephone, computer, and face-to-face appointments. Our face-to-face appointments are held outside in the open air (frequently selected by clients for document signing) and inside our office conference room. We follow all CDC guidelines. Our office procedures and COVID-19 safety protocols are designed and enhanced by medical review and air quality engineering and design.