With well over 325 million people living in the U.S. alone, it is difficult to imagine that loneliness in seniors could be so common. Nevertheless, over half of all seniors live alone, and more than a million of them are likely to be chronically lonely. In fact, virtually half of older adults studied stated that their principal resource for companionship is the television.
Being lonely can lead to severe health concerns as well, reported to have as great an impact as smoking and being overweight, and can lead to depression, hypertension, dementia, and even an earlier mortality rate than those who happen to be socially connected.
What can you do to ensure your senior loved ones steer clear of sinking into isolation? The Campaign to End Loneliness advises using the following measurement tool. Check in with the seniors in your life to gauge their responses to these three statements:
- I am content with my friendships and relationships.
- I have enough people I feel comfortable asking for help at any time.
- My relationships are as satisfying as I would want them to be.
If loneliness is an issue for a senior loved one in your life, there are a variety of steps you can take that can help:
- Check with your senior loved one’s next-door neighbors, friends, and people in their religious organization in order to coordinate regular visits.
- Take advantage of technology, including Facetime and Skype, allowing the senior to be connected remotely.
- Consider available activities and courses for older adults at the nearby community college, senior center, and gym.
It is also important to rule out clinical depression or any other health problems as the underlying cause of your loved one’s loneliness. A senior who may be isolating himself or herself as a consequence of mental or physical issues requires professional healthcare services to fully manage the issue and receive relevant care.
- Friendly conversations
- Engaging in enjoyable pastimes such as playing games, cards, exercise, hobbies, and favorite pursuits
- Sharing mealtimes together
- Providing the transportation and accompaniment necessary to help seniors remain active in the community around them
- And much more
Contact us now at (213) 383-2273 for top-rated elder care in Los Angeles and the surrounding areas and for assistance in making certain your senior loved one is socially active and enjoying life to the fullest. Click here to see our full service area.