Preventing Loneliness Boosts Mental and Physical Health
Many seniors who live alone face challenges each day and one of the biggest is loneliness. For a senior who’s homebound and living alone, depression and other medical issues are more apt to arise. Gaining access to transportation, connecting with local activities and making new friends are ways to remedy loneliness and turn isolation into inspiration!
Losing a spouse or having children move out of state are just a couple of things that can trigger loneliness and isolation with seniors. While most older adults prepare for and look forward to retirement and have big plans for this lifestyle transition, it can be challenging at times, especially when the unexpected happens. Maybe they can no longer drive or they’re having trouble obtaining a reliable vehicle.
Gaining access to transportation can help relieve the burden of loneliness and open new possibilities to travel and visit loved ones. Discounts through county transportation such as buses and trains are one option. Another is to obtain a low-interest loan through a local bank or credit union to purchase a used vehicle.
Connecting With Local Activities
Loneliness sets in when there are infrequent visitors or lack of social events to engage in. For a single senior, it can be even more challenging and sometimes hard to make new friends. Connecting with local activities geared toward their age group encourages interpersonal relationships and keeps loneliness at bay. A good place to start is the local senior center. Many have access to peer activities like card games, shuttles to local attractions and day trips at affordable prices.
Finding Helpful Companions
A little help around the house is always a good thing, especially for seniors. Hiring someone to come and prep meals, clean or take them to doctor’s appointments can make a huge difference in combating loneliness. The local department on aging and home care agencies are a good starting point for finding companions and helpers for both services and occasional travel needs.
Resources That Can Help
Whether it’s for yourself or a loved one, encourage social interactions by:
- Attending a place of worship frequently if religious minded
- Setting up consistent lunch or dinner dates with friends or family
- Keeping up with all medical appointments and checkups
- Engaging in old as well as new hobbies like wood carving, yoga, crafting, singing or golf
- Adopting a pet to help drive down feelings of being all alone
- Spending as much time as possible with loved ones
Don’t let your loved ones suffer from loneliness. Encourage someone who’s struggling to reach out for companionship and socialization. Both can boost mood and improve their quality of life.
~Here’s to Your Financial Health!