While many seniors lead active and vital lives, others struggle to stay social due to several factors. These can include a lack of transportation, illness, health issues, and/or mood disorders such as depression. It’s important to help your senior loved one get out of the house and spend time with peers, doing things they enjoy and getting daily exercise. Not only does activity help combat loneliness and depression, it’s also good for their physical health.
If your loved one is resistant to making changes in their lifestyle, be patient. This can be a normal reaction especially after the death of a spouse, a long illness or battles with health and mobility issues, or following a major change such as a move. Look for activities that appeal to the senior in your life by integrating their hobbies or something they’ve always wanted to try.
Here are a few ideas to get you started.
HELP THEM STAY MOBILE
Many seniors can continue to drive well into their golden years, but others have trouble with their vision or don’t feel comfortable getting behind the wheel anymore. Help your loved one stay mobile by offering rides or finding other transportation when you’re not available. Many assisted living facilities and hospitals offer rides to doctor’s appointments and the grocery store, while ride-sharing services like Uber may be more convenient--and less expensive--than a cab.
Photo via Pixabay by Besnopile
ENCOURAGE THEM TO GET A PET
If your loved one doesn’t already have a dog or cat, encourage them to consider adopting one. Animals are great companions for seniors, and dogs help them stay active and engaged in daily exercise as well. An added bonus of all that dog walking is increased social interaction by meeing neighbors and other dog walkers. A healthy mind depends on engagement with others. For more information on how dogs can provide health benefits, check out this informative blog post by Rover.com.
HELP THEM FIND A HOBBY
Your loved one will likely benefit from having a hobby, especially one they can do either alone or with other people. Look for a gardening club, a book club, a sewing circle, or a cooking class nearby and make sure they have the tools to practice their hobby at home. Being creative is a wonderful way for seniors who are battling depression and even Alzheimer’s disease, as it can be therapeutic by helping their minds stay active. For tips on finding a new hobby, read on here.
GET THEM INVOLVED
Your loved one might enjoy getting involved in their community or helping the less fortunate. Donating their time and efforts to a good cause can help seniors feel vital and keep them in touch with their community. They might volunteer at a local animal shelter, or give their time to a senior care facility. Help them find the right cause for their available time and their interests.
HELP THEM GET REGULAR CHECKUPS
Many seniors avoid social situations because they feel uncomfortable with their ability to hear or see. Help your loved one keep an active social life by encouraging and reminding them to get regular checkups and sensory testing, which will not only ensure that they’re in good health, but will keep their confidence levels up as well.
Staying social is a big part of any senior’s life, and it can help them combat brain and memory function issues as well as give them something to look forward to. Help your loved one find the best ways to stay active in their community to keep their mind and body healthy.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Marie’s mission is to empower seniors against ageism by providing information they need to keep control of their own lives.