Loneliness is an unfortunate risk of older adulthood. A recent study showed that approximately 35 percent of older adults consider themselves lonely, with those who are not married and who have lived in their homes for a year or less being at the highest risk. Loneliness can lead to depression and anxiety, which can further reduce social interaction and put your aging parent at high risk of both mental and physical health and well-being consequences. Protecting your aging parent from loneliness is an essential part of guarding their health and quality of life as they age in place.
Some ways that you can help your parent to feel less lonely include:
- Set specific times during the week when you see them. Even if it has to be a few days apart, knowing that you are coming can give your parent something to look forward to and reduce concern.
- Arrange for phone calls and video chats during the times when you will not be in the home with them.
- Get to know their neighbors and ask if they can visit your parent a few times each week, even if it is only for a short time each visit.
- Start home care for them so that they have access not just to companionship, but to personalized assistance with their other care needs as well.
- Encourage your parent to find an organization that fits with their interests and hobbies and get them involved in that so that they can enjoy activities and get to know others with the same interests.
- Help your parent find volunteer opportunities so that they can engage with others and also feel as though they are making a difference in their community.
- If they have the ability to care for it properly, consider getting them a pet. Senior cats and dogs often make exceptional companions for senior people and studies have shown that caring for animals offers a variety of both physical and mental health benefits including reducing loneliness.
If your senior has recently been diagnosed with a new health challenge or condition, their needs have increased, or you simply feel that they would benefit from more diversified care, now may be the ideal time for you to consider starting home care for them. An in-home senior care services provider can step in to supplement the care that you give, fulfill tasks that you cannot fulfill or that you or your parent are uncomfortable with you managing, and enhance your senior’s lifestyle with companionship and increased independence and autonomy. This means that your senior can enjoy a more fulfilling lifestyle and you can focus on your own well-being as well throughout your care journey with them. These services can include everything from safe and reliable transportation to meal preparation to assistance with activities of daily living to mobility support and more.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring home care in Linden, NJ, call the caring staff at Helping Hands Home Care today at 908-418-4299. Providing Home Care Services in all of Northern and Central NJ, including Clark, Westfield, Cranford, Scotch Plains, Rahway, Linden, Summit, Edison, Elizabeth, Mountainside and the surrounding areas.
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