Being lonely can be very difficult for adults of any age, but in elderly adults it can significantly affect their quality of life. Even if they have an attentive family caregiver, aging adults can easily become socially isolated and quite lonely. In an effort to spread love and cheer, National Cheer Up the Lonely Day was established. Held on July 11th every year, it’s an opportunity for people to focus on those who may be lonely and do something about it.
Loneliness Epidemic Among Seniors
Millions of elderly adults experience loneliness every day. Usually, it’s because they are retired from work and no longer live near family members. As their health declines, it can be harder for them to attend family functions or social gatherings. Many seniors can no longer drive and physical limitations may even leave them needing a walker or wheelchair. All this combines to leave seniors incredibly lonely while living at home.
Loneliness may not seem like something that can negatively affect an elderly person’s health and wellness, but studies show that chronic isolation can be as detrimental as smoking and obesity to overall health. Aging adults that live alone and don’t have much social interaction run a very high risk of depression and dementia. It has also been linked to premature death in many cases.
How to Combat Loneliness in Elderly Adults
National Cheer Up the Lonely Day does a good job of drawing attention to the loneliness epidemic among seniors in the US. Participants can visit seniors, deliver a goody bag, mail a card, make a phone call and much more. However, it’s not enough to just spend one day on the issue, especially where isolated seniors are involved.
The best way for family caregivers to help their aging relatives avoid loneliness is to find ways to increase their social interaction. One of the most effective ways to do this is to hire an elder care provider to place home care assistants with the aging adult. Elder care providers can work with the senior on daily tasks like showering, dressing and grooming. They can help around the house with laundry, meal prep and housekeeping. Having one or more elder care assistants on a regular schedule can prevent aging adults from living in isolation for long.
Above all, the elder care providers bring companionship into the equation. Because they are professionally trained to work with elderly and disabled individuals, the elder care providers know how important it is to interact and engage with the seniors they work with. They can even provide transportation to senior centers, social events and family gatherings if necessary.
It doesn’t have to be National Cheer Up the Lonely Day for family caregivers to take extra steps to ensure their aging loved one is socially involved. Taking the time to identify the obstacles to isolation is the first step in helping elderly relatives become happier and healthier.
IF YOU OR AN AGING LOVED-ONE ARE CONSIDERING HIRING IN-HOME ELDER CARE IN QUEENS CREEK, AZ, PLEASE CALL THE CARING STAFF AT GOLDEN HEART SENIOR CARE SCOTTSDALE. WE ARE HERE TO HELP!