Many of our loved ones may struggle with feelings of neglect and isolation due to a lack of interaction amongst a community of people that care for them. Being socially active brings about great benefits for them! It increases mental alertness in them as it stimulates the brain to think and recall more information, staving off dementia. Being socially active fights depression as loneliness and hopelessness are reduced; they know that there is a strong support system that takes care of them. Having a strong support system can provide the love and care they need, reducing mental health issues. It can potentially extend life as studies have shown that older adults living in isolation have a 50% higher risk of dying in five years than those who remain socially active. As such, it is of great importance to be active socially! Here are some ways for older adults to socialize.
Participate in Local Activities
Participating in activities or events with friends and family brings the elderly great fulfillment and joy. Some of these activities could include game nights, weekly outings, hikes, and even volunteer groups of their interest. Through the activities, they can interact with participants in a fun and light manner. These activities are something that they can look forward to! They could even meet like-minded people and build a community for themselves!
Interact through Technology
Interacting through social media and technology is a great way for aging individuals to stay connected! It is easier to interact with family and friends due to ease and convenience. It is especially helpful for those who live miles away from their loved ones. It is also an instantaneous method to connect with them so when they have important news to share, it can be done easily through video calls or text. Now, there are many phones designed with bigger buttons and louder speakers to cater to their needs. It is fairly important to teach your loved ones how to properly use the phone as well, as this allows interaction between you and your loved ones!
Adopt a Pet
Adopting a pet gives the owner a sense of companionship and responsibility to love and care for them. The sense of ownership grows along with the bond between the pet and the owner. Their pets give them a great sense of purpose as they wake up early to walk their dogs or to feed them on time. The kind of pet that is adopted should be based on the owner’s unique needs. Dogs require a more active lifestyle with frequent walks while cats are rather low maintenance and independent.
Provide Reliable Transportation
Providing reliable transport can help isolated loved ones to go to places they enjoy. Leaving home will feel much more enjoyable and easy, encouraging them to leave the house more. Reliable transportation can make them feel powerful and they can go to places they want to without feeling like a burden. It also allows them to participate in activities that matter to them as transport will not be a hindrance.