Keeping Seniors Socially Connected

Thanks to Mary Shannon of SeniorsMeet.org for contributing this article.

Seniors who live alone without easy access to relatives can sometimes become socially isolated. Unaddressed, this can lead to anxiety, depression, and even a lack of attention to self-care. Fortunately, there are ways to help the older adults in your life get more engaged.

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Check In Regularly

Whether you live next door, or on the other side of the globe, check in with older loved ones on a regular basis.

●      Ask about their eating and sleeping habits and daily routine to ensure they are capable of managing the activities of daily living, or ADLs.

●      Consider hiring a home health aid to help with basic home and personal care needs.

●      Arrange for delivery of groceries and medication – especially for those with mobility issues.

 

Foster Connections Through Technology

Technology has created numerous mechanisms to help people stay connected across the miles. Help seniors choose the right tech for their needs and help them learn how to use it.

●      Help a senior loved one select a phone or tablet and assist them in downloading apps and learning to use them.

●      Demonstrate how to use video conferencing features, how to take pictures, text, and even get involved in social media.

●      Use an online search engine to help your older loved one connect with old friends. For example, if they went to high school in or around Boston, search the school where they graduated.

 

Identify Resources

Help your senior loved one identify go-to resources and socialization opportunities in their community.

●      Check the social events calendar for local senior centers and encourage participation.

●      Look for clubs and activities your older loved one might be interested in joining – ones that center around a shared interest like card games or quilting or auto repair can be good.

●      Connect with youth organizations that “adopt” grandparents for special activities and events.

 

Stay in Touch

Older individuals who don’t have family nearby often appreciate regular check-ins and visits. Not only is it good for them socially, but it provides an opportunity to physically assess their health and wellness.

●      Put a standing phone call or video chat on the calendar so there’s something to look forward to.

●      Send written letters, and encourage other family members to do the same.

●      Visit when you can – an in-person visit will give you peace of mind, as well as brighten your loved ones’ day.

Aging can be challenging, and loneliness can compound issues, leading to depression and anxiety. Keeping the doors to socialization open can do a world of good.

Photo By Pixabay

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