A senior’s social health is as equally important as their mental and physical. They all coincide with one another and have an effect on a senior’s well being and how susceptible they are to getting sick. Stress and social isolation are common for a senior to experience, but overcoming them may seem like a challenge.
There are helpful ways to beat the blues and fight the idea that aging leads to loneliness. It’s not true, and in fact, seniors don’t always see how many opportunities they have to remain social, even if stuck at home.
Stress and isolation in seniors can lead to more significant health issues and even an increased risk for Alzheimer’s or dementia. Take a look at some of the ways seniors can overcome these hurdles and promote better wellbeing all around.
Encourage Body Image Positivity
It’s no secret that as we age, increased wrinkles and some weight gain can be expected. Some seniors benefit from compliments and encouragement. By giving it to them positively, they’ll feel more comfortable and embrace who they are. Confidence is the key to socializing at any age. A senior will be more apt to meeting others when they are not focusing or worrying so much about their appearance.
Assess Vision and Hearing Regularly
Communication barriers such as hearing difficulty or vision problems can hinder a senior’s willingness to socialize as well. Recommend to your loved one that they get their hearing tested and vision screened regularly. This will help them quickly discover if any underlying physical conditions are hindering their ability to interact with others.
Give Them Something to Care After
The act of nurturing has been known to ease the feeling of isolation. Pets provide companionship and love for those who have a hard time communicating as well. A pet gives seniors a reason to wake up each day and feel like they’re needed.
Assess your senior’s ability to take care of a dog or cat before gifting one. Gardening or a collection of indoor house plants can be another less demanding option. Fresh blooms and the airy greenery will boost mood and relieve stress.
Give Affection and Show Support
A simple hold of the hand can be a simple way of showing affection. Some seniors are less likely to interact with new people if they have a cloud of worry over their heads. Providing them with an outlet for venting will help them navigate any emotional circumstances they are working through, such as the loss of a spouse or family member.
Assist a Senior with Adaptive Technology
There are a number of devices out there that can help a senior who struggles with communication. Adaptive and assistive technology is specifically for assisting seniors in navigating the challenges of mobility and communicating associated with aging. Examples of this technology would be a walker, wheelchair, hearing aids, and orthotic or prosthetic equipment. Seniors that are new to these resources may feel embarrassed or more anxious. However, once they experience the added benefit and quality of life after accessing such devices, they can feel more confident and active with their social lives.
Assisting a senior with setting up a Zoom, Skype, or Google Hangouts account, or how to use Facetime or Facebook Messenger video calling. Get them more apt and able to use this technology so that they can access friends and family at the touch of a button.
Don’t be afraid to try out a few different platforms. Seniors may have a hard time with smartphones and computers, but will likely find one platform that they are able to use with ease. Phone calls and emails may be the go-to for most older adults, but the ability to see a smile on a loved one’s face on a video chat is what outshines the rest.
Healthy Body, Mind, and Spirit
Once stress or social isolation is recognized in a senior, action can be taken to help them work through insecurities and barriers. All it takes is kindness and the ability to understand their needs.
At The Kensington, we promise to love and care for your family as we do our own. Our expert team of professionals provides compassion along with their knowledge of various conditions, such as levels of memory loss associated with Alzheimer’s and dementia.
We enrich each day with activities and wellness programs, along with rehabilitation services for seniors recovering from an injury or other condition. Our flavorful dining menu also fulfills nutritional needs just as much as it satisfies our residents.
For these reasons, senior living communities like ourselves are a place where seniors can feel connected, loved, and safe. Give us a call today if you have questions about our assisted living or memory care neighborhoods.