Ageing and Loneliness – How to Help a Senior Live Happier and Longer

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Ageing and Loneliness – How to Help a Senior Live Happier and Longer

The National Poll on Aging Healthy has recently found that around one-third of elders in the U.S. are lonely. Lack of companionship and isolation are revealed to be the top reasons for their loneliness, which significantly affects their health and well-being.

Loneliness is tied to a number of physical and mental health conditions. Among elders but among young adults as well. In older adults, chronic loneliness can lead to poor memory and mental health, heart attack, strokes, and a shortened life expectancy.

Therefore, it’s highly crucial to look after an aging loved one. If you notice signs of extreme loneliness in them, you should provide support immediately. You can encourage them to move in with you, or offer to relocate them in a nursing home or have them receive assisted living services from hospice care centres in Southern Indiana.

That said, here are more ways to help a senior loved one fight loneliness. Ageing and loneliness – how to help a senior live happier and longer.

Encourage Social Interaction

In a nursing home, your elderly loved one will meet a lot of new people. So, encourage them to make new friends. Other places that open opportunities for socializing are; churches, health clubs, educational groups, and other local organizations fit for people of all ages. Local senior centres and area agencies on aging also organize special activities for seniors. So, motivate your loved one to participate in those as well.

Re-Connect With Old Friends

Elderly people aren’t adept in digital technology, so they find tracing their old friends difficult. Offer to help them reunite with their old pals. So, they can finally catch up after many years of being apart.

Engage On a New Hobby

An enjoyable hobby will help your senior loved one stay motivated. There are various activities suitable for them that don’t require much movement. Even if they’re already going through mobility issues, it won’t be a problem. These hobbies include reading, writing, puzzles, arts and crafts, and gardening, to name a few.

Adopt A Pet For Them

Senior adults tend to feel like they’ve lost their purpose, so give them something to look after, like a pet. Pets are wonderful companions and they love unconditionally. Your elderly loved one will surely live happier with them at their side.

Volunteer

Local senior centres, area agencies, and hospitals offer volunteering opportunities, so encourage them to look for one that will put their skills and talents to use. Volunteering can stir gratefulness and other positive emotions to elders.

Health Risks of Loneliness

Loneliness shouldn’t be disregarded; as pointed out previously, it can lead to various mental and physical health problems. Dementia is one of them, and according to research, strong social support can help prevent this condition.

Studies have also proven that fatal heart disease among elders is linked to loneliness. Patients who live alone succumbed to their heart diseases earlier than patients who lived with a spouse or others. Meanwhile, the mortality rate of coronary bypass patients who had expressed their loneliness is found to be 2.5 times higher than other patients.

Lonely senior adults are also found to have a shorter life than those with active social lives. Their health declines faster from being isolated. Research also found that elders as young as 71 years old are already experiencing isolation, which means adults nearing their retirement ages may potentially experience health problems linked to loneliness in the near future.

Thus, it is important to always look after the well-being of our aging loved ones. They may not openly express their loneliness to us, but if they live alone without anyone to talk to on a daily basis, then that’s already a sign that they are isolated and lonely. Let’s do our part and help them revive their lively spirit.

Hannah Murray

Hannah is a freelance travel and fashion writer who prides herself in finding the perfect tours and operators to make your journey as authentic and memorable as possible.

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