Loneliness can be a tremendous risk for an elderly adult. The changes in their life that have come with aging can lead to feelings of loneliness and isolation that put them at greater risk of a variety of health issues and other challenges, including depression, anxiety, cardiovascular disease, and more. As their family caregiver, it is important for you to take the steps you can to reduce this loneliness and boost your parent's health and quality of life as they age in place.
Use these tips to help reduce loneliness and the risks for your aging parent:
● Schedule phone calls with them. Especially if you aren't able to be with your parent as frequently as you would like to be, having phone calls throughout the week is an important way of staying connected to them. If your parent is tech-savvy, teach them how to do a video chat for an even closer connection
● Work with your family to schedule visits from different people several times per week. Even a short visit can make a tremendous difference for your senior. If possible, split up care efforts with others in your family or even friends so that your parent gets interaction with more people
● Encourage your parent to participate in activities outside of their home, such as volunteering, being a part of a club or organization, or joining an extended learning class
● Start a written correspondence with your parent. Few people receive traditional mail anymore, but getting a letter or postcard with a handwritten message can mean a tremendous amount. This also encourages your parent to keep up with you and even your children on a more regular and meaningful basis
● Help your parent learn how to use social media safely and effectively. This can help them to connect with various other family members and friends, and stay up-to-date and connected in an efficient and readily accessible way
● Start elderly care for them so that they have continuous access to companionship, transportation, and support. This encourages them to be more active and involved with the world around them, even if they are at home
As a family caregiver, you know that your parent's health and well-being are not just about managing one issue.
These are multifaceted issues, and most senior adults deal with a variety of challenges, limitations, and needs that impact physical, mental, emotional, and cognitive health, well-being, and functioning.
Managing each of these in meaningful ways that are right for your senior is critical to helping them preserve their quality of life, and empowering them to take more control over their health and their lifestyle. This can be very challenging for you, but fortunately, you can rely on in-home elderly care for help.
An in-home elderly care provider can step in to support and supplement your care efforts, and work with your parent to effectively address their needs in all of the different aspects of life. Whether it is providing physical support and assistance to help them deal with mobility issues that might keep them from the activities they enjoy, helping modify tasks throughout the home so they feel more independent, or simply being there for them as a companion and source of support, these services can make a tremendous difference in your parents life now and into the future.