With more than 325 million people living in the US alone, it is difficult to envision that senior loneliness is so far-reaching. Regardless, more than 50% of all the elderly live by themselves, and over a million of them are thought to be experiencing chronic loneliness. Almost half of the elderly surveyed stated that their primary source of companionship is the television.
Loneliness may also lead to a number of serious medical issues as well. It is reported to have just as large an affect as cigarette smoking and obesity, and as a result, can cause dementia, depression, and increased blood pressure, in addition to an earlier mortality rate than those who have better social bonds.
How can you assist your senior loved one in avoiding settling into isolation? The Campaign to End Loneliness encourages asking the seniors in your life the following questions to gauge senior loneliness and isolation:
- I am satisfied with my relationships and friendships.
- I have enough people in my life that I feel comfortable going to for help when needed.
- My relationships with others are as gratifying as I would like them to be.
If you are concerned about a senior loved one in your life being isolated or lonely, try the following actions to help:
- Speak with your loved one’s neighbors, close friends, and others in his/her religious organization to attempt to organize weekly visits.
- Use technology, like Facetime and Skype, to help the senior to stay connected remotely.
- Check into available senior activities and courses at the nearby community college, senior center, and/or fitness center.
It is also important to make sure that clinical depression or any other medical issues are not the cause of the senior’s loneliness. A senior isolating him/herself as a result of a medical condition is in need of professional healthcare services to help manage the problem and receive treatment.
One of the best strategies to assist in decreasing loneliness in seniors is to engage the services of Midnight Sun Home Care. Our caregivers spend quality time with seniors through:
- Pleasant conversations
- Engaging in fun activities such as playing games, exercise, cards, favorite interests, and other hobbies
- Sharing meals together
- Transporting and accompanying seniors into the community to assist them in staying active in the world around them
- And much more
Contact Midnight Sun Home Care, providers of personal care assistance Alaska residents can trust and depend on, at (907) 677-7890 for assistance in ensuring that your loved one is socially active and living life to the fullest!