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Introverted Seniors: Helping With Social Engagement

by JFS Care
Learn how to help introverted seniors enjoy social gatherings more fully.

And just like that, the holiday season is here! While many people flourish in the excited pace of parties and celebrations, there are just as many people, including introverted seniors, who struggle with the idea of going outside of their comfort zone and into more extensive social obligations. It might simply come down to one primary distinction: introversion vs. extroversion. And it is worthwhile to know which distinction the older adults in your life lean more towards, so you can ensure the right type of socializing to help them feel most comfortable.

What Is the Difference Between Extroverts and Introverts?

In actuality, no one is only one or the other. Think of a spectrum with introverts on one side and extroverts on the other. We all fall somewhere along that continuum. The primary traits of introversion include a more reserved, quiet, and internally focused attitude, while extroversion comprises a more outward focus: talkative, sociable, and action-oriented.

Also, keep in mind that psychologists believe that we grow more introverted with age, in a condition known as “intrinsic maturation.” So just because a senior you love once fully enjoyed and drew energy from highly social functions, you may notice a shift towards beginning to feel more self-contained and satisfied with small, intimate social scenes or even just being alone.

Knowing that a senior’s social life is imperative to their health, how can you help a more introverted senior enjoy time together with friends and family, not only during the holidays, but all year long? These strategies can help.

  • Designate a buddy. Having one close and trusted family member, friend, or caregiver to be near the person adds a measure of familiarity and comfort to what may feel like an overwhelming setting.
  • Settle into the perimeter. Rather than encouraging the person to be front and center in a social setting, pick a quieter place at the edge of the group, where they can chat with one or two people at a time.
  • Decide on a specified exit time. Consult with the individual about how much time might feel comfortable for socializing. If they prefer to stay for just an hour, for example, be sure to respect that request and be prepared to leave when they are.

How Can In-Home Care Help Introverted Seniors?

A care professional from JFS Care provides the ideal opportunity for the one-on-one socialization that more introverted seniors need. Just a few of the numerous ways we can help include:

  • Providing companionship at home for conversations and activities that are fun for the person
  • Going to holiday get-togethers with the senior to make sure all of their needs are met in the most comfortable setting
  • Offering accompanied transportation to a small-group class or to learn a new pastime they’ve always wanted to try
  • And much more

If you need Jewish family services in Los Angeles, CA or the nearby areas, contact us online or at 213-383-2273 to learn more tips to help someone you love enjoy the best possible quality of life and to discover how a professional caregiver can help.