5 Tips to Help Seniors Avoid Isolation

5 Tips to Help Seniors Avoid Isolation

Everyone should have the chance to age with dignity. No matter the level of care, you or your loved one can live well through your various life stages. Social interaction is fundamental to maintaining a healthy quality of life. This can become difficult to maintain as we grow older and energy levels or social opportunities decrease.

However, isolation is not an inevitable part of aging. There are key steps you can take to help the senior in your life avoid isolation and thrive in their new life stage. If you live in Arizona, a great way to build a healthy community is through senior living in Peoria.

Read below to learn 5 tips to help your loved ones move from isolation to community:

1. Pick Up A Hobby or Join a Club at a Community Center

At any life stage, it’s important to have friends with common interests. It’s especially important to regularly meet with these friends in social settings. At certain stages, this process is easier as school and jobs create a natural community. As we age, it can become harder to find opportunities to meet friends.

If the senior you are caring for is no longer spending time with friends, encourage them to start a hobby through a community center. This is a great way to introduce them to new friends. What are your loved one’s interests? Is there a skill they have always wanted to learn? Look at community centers with clubs or classes and find one that interests them.

Joining a club or taking a class is beneficial for many reasons, both cognitively and socially. Your senior can learn a new skill or invest in a lifelong interest, while having a weekly activity to look forward to. Additionally, they can make friends with shared interests, leading to social meet-ups and activities outside the formal classes or club meetings.

2. Arrange Transportation

Lack of transportation can lead to isolation and therefore loneliness. If the senior in your life is unable to find transportation to events, activities, or meet-ups with friends, they are left in isolation. Explore different methods of transportation so they have the freedom to leave the house and meet friends for lunch or attend a local event such as a museum exhibit, game night, movie, or live show.

Check with family, friends, as well as local transportation services. What options are available? Can a family or friend be available at certain times? If not, what other services are available? Explore all options, such as senior driving services, public transportation, or ride shares through driving apps. Take time to come up with a plan for the senior you are caring for. Write down these resources in a visible place so they have the freedom to plan social engagements on their own and get out of the house more often.

3. Adopt a Pet

Companionship has many health benefits. One way to increase healthy companionship is through pet adoption. If your loved one is feeling lonely, it may be time to help them pick out a pet to care for. No matter the life stage, living alone increases isolation which can lead to feelings of despair or sadness. Social gatherings can help, but having a pet can foster companionship in the quiet hours at home, when no one else is around.

Pet ownership has a host of benefits, in addition to companionship. It creates structure, relieves anxiety and stress, and increases physical activity. Your loved one will have to keep a consistent schedule with feeding, grooming, or walking. This will give your loved one purpose during the day, provide distraction from any negative feelings, and give them a reason to keep active while caring for their pet.

4. Learn to Use Technology

Technology comes in many forms. The various applications of technology can be an effective tool against loneliness. For instance, hearing or vision impairments can prevent seniors from connecting and being present, even if they are amidst family and friends. Help your loved one connect and engage in these relationships with hearing and vision tests, and the appropriate hearing aids or glasses.

This type of technology is considered adaptive technology because it provides a tool, service, or device that enables them to better engage in activities. Other examples of adaptive technology are:

  • Modified computers and keyboards
  • Telephone amplifiers
  • Voice-activated lights and alarms
  • Chair lifts
  • Walkers
  • Motorized scooters
  • Screen magnification software

If adaptive technology improves your senior’s life by equipping them to perform tasks easier, it can help them connect more and continue to build relationships.

Technology can also connect a senior when transportation is unavailable or scheduling conflicts or distance don’t allow it. They can still connect with friends and family through video chats on their phone or computer, text messages, and phone calls aided with amplifying devices. Use all forms of technology to improve quality of life and stave off loneliness.

5. Move to a Senior Living Community

Perhaps one of the best ways to avoid isolation is to take advantage of the built-in community of an assisted living or memory care community. These communities are designed to provide care supplemented with a wide variety of social events, excursions, and cultural or recreational programs. By moving to an assisted living or memory care community, residents will have access to scheduled transportation, enrichment programs focusing on their interests, excursions, and a variety of social activities.

Plus, community living means your neighbors are your friends; close proximity means you are free to meet as often as you like. Take advantage of community features such as theaters, lounges, computer centers, beauty salons, game rooms, gyms, restaurant-style dining, and courtyards and solariums.

Assisted living or memory care gives you peace of mind, knowing your loved one is plugged into a community while receiving personalized and appropriate levels of care.

If you are ready for senior living in Peoria, schedule an appointment with the Mission at Agua Fria Senior Living today. Our residents receive comprehensive and compassionate care while fostering independent living. No matter your level of care, we are ready to help you retire with dignity.