4 Ways to Help Elderly People Avoid Social Isolation

August 19, 2016

Hiring caregiver services in Chicago is very helpful to your elderly loved ones especially if you are someone with a hectic schedule. This will ensure that your elderly loved ones are in good hands so you can go to work with no worries. However, one of the increasing problems among the elderly community that you should be aware of is the fact that more and more senior citizens are experiencing social isolation.

Loneliness and social isolation are proven to be connected to poor health. This can lead to serious emotional issues like depression, immune deficiencies, and heart diseases. To prevent these complications from happening, here are 4 tips on how to help seniors avoid social isolation: 

Let Your Loved Ones Adopt a Pet

According to experts, the act of caring for something can reduce the feelings of social isolation. One way to care for something is by getting a pet. Pet owners don’t suffer from depression, they feel more secure, and they become more motivated. Having a pet is a great way to remain socially active because pets make great conversation starters. Before getting a dog or cat, make sure that your aging parents are capable of caring for a pet. Some dog breeds that are ideal for senior citizens are Beagle and Scottish, mainly because of their moderate energy level which is suited for the elderly. Persian cats and American Shorthairs are also popular among the elderly because of their cuddly and laid-back personality. If your loved ones are suffering from fur allergies, don’t worry. You can give them plants or gardening supplies instead. 

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Encourage Display of Affection

Research shows that friendly, platonic touching from friends and family can lower stress and improve one’s well-being. Don’t hesitate to hold your elderly loved ones’ hands or hug them when you come over their house. A friendly hug to greet them or bid farewell will do the trick even if you or your older relatives are not the overly-affectionate type. 

Eat Meals Together

Mealtimes are events when the whole family should be together. It is a time when all of you can sit down and talk over positive things while enjoying a delicious home cooked meal. Encouraging your aging parents to share a meal with family and friends will give them a sense that they belong. Eating with other people also promotes better nutrition, which is essential for the elderly. 

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Boost Their Confidence over Their Body Image

Some older adults avoid mingling with other people because of how they see themselves. When some older individuals feel like they are overweight or have too many wrinkles, they close themselves off from their friends and family. To avoid this from happening, give out positive comments and compliments to boost their self-esteem. Discourage them from fretting over their appearance because this will just make them too self-conscious. If your elderly loved ones are overweight, you can address the issue by helping them lose weight through eating healthy food and exercising. Be sure to be positive and sensitive when motivating your loved ones to lose weight.

With these tips, you can help your elderly loved ones avoid social isolation. Remember to pour a lot of your love, care, and optimism when motivating them, just like what they did to you when you were growing up.

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