If your loved one is feeling lonely or isolated, it can be difficult to know what to say or do. Seniors are often very lonely and very isolated. Getting older can often bring with it the death of close family members and friends, serious illnesses, transportation limitations, and other struggles. Many seniors end up living alone and maybe not working, causing limited interaction with others.

Perhaps if you’re a caregiver or have been spending plenty of time with this loved one, you’ve even started to feel the same way. Loneliness can be contagious at times. Even if you’re trying to help, it’s important to make sure you take care of yourself as well.

Here are some tips and ideas on how to help your loved one – and yourself – deal with and overcome loneliness and feelings of isolation.

Perhaps it’s time to move into a senior living community. This one might seem like a big change, but it might be exactly what a lonely senior needs. A change in scenery can provide the perfect solution to loneliness, especially when there are a lot more people to interact with and things to do with these people. Living in a senior community can actually eliminate a lot of the causes for loneliness. With a full schedule of activities and plenty of seniors and staff with whom to socialize, loneliness can dramatically decrease.

For seniors who are not quite ready to move to a senior living community yet, however, there are some other options. If a senior is feeling isolated and lonely, it is important that he or she become engaged in activities that involve other people. Perhaps you can help your loved one by suggesting a class or a volunteering opportunity. These are great ways to keep an active mind and to meet and interact with new people.

Keep in mind how important it is to stay physically active. Perhaps this is something that you and your loved one can do together, whether you choose to go on walks, take a class, or try out a new sport. Exercise helps the mind and body stay healthy, and if someone is exercising in a group it also provides for social interaction. If the exercise takes place outdoors, then the time spent on this activity also allows for fresh air.

These are just a few options to keep you active and engaged with the world around you. Whichever you choose to pursue, make sure both you and your loved one have that opportunity to interact with other people and to get out of the house. Even if it’s just for one or two hours, it’ll help you feel refreshed and connected again.

 

Brisa Ramirez