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Increasing Socialization to Reduce Isolation and Loneliness in Aging

Increasing Socialization to Reduce Isolation and Loneliness in Aging

Many seniors enjoy their independence and the ability to age in place, and that can be a wonderful thing. They can take comfort in the familiarity of their own home and consistent routines. However, aging in place can also increase the risk of isolation and loneliness, especially if seniors live alone. They may not get out as often as they used to or have people come visit.

Studies have shown that isolation and loneliness can take a negative toll on health, increasing risk of depression, anxiety, high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and even Alzheimer’s disease. If you do live alone, it is important to make socialization part of your daily routine to boost your physical, mental, and emotional health.

Here are a few ways you can build more social connections and interaction:

  • Get to know your neighbors.

The people who live around you can be a wonderful source of companionship. You don’t have to travel far to see one another and can enjoy simple activities like going for a walk, chatting over tea or coffee, playing with pets, or just checking in on one another.

  • Schedule family visits.

Coordinate times for family to come, whether for a few hours or a few days. This can give you something to look forward to and a way to stay connected. Plan outings to a favorite restaurant, to go see a movie, or to visit a local park or museum. If your family lives further away, schedule regular phone calls or video calls to catch up and share recent happenings.

  • Volunteer in the community.

If you’re still able to get out and about, spend time volunteering. There are plenty of organizations that would love the help, and it can give you a greater sense of purpose. You can put your time and talents to good use, doing something to help others and give back, which can boost your mood. Plus, you’ll have the opportunity to socialize and meet new people. You can volunteer at a food pantry, soup kitchen, animal shelter, school, library, or other nonprofit that fits your interests and abilities.

  • Join a club.

Being retired, you have more free time in your day. Check out the different groups and activities that local organizations are offering. You could participate in a book club, card or game club, exercise class, or another hobby. Challenge yourself to learn something new or pick up an old activity you haven’t done for a while. This is a wonderful way to stay mentally stimulated, interact with others, and be more active. You can get out of the house and join an in-person group, or if mobility or transportation are an issue, you can join a virtual group.

  • Coordinate transportation.

A lot of seniors are isolated because they either don’t drive anymore, or they don’t get around as well as they used to. Look into different transportation options that can help you get out into the community. There may be senior agencies that offer pick-up and drop-off services, you could carpool with friends, or take public transportation. You could also host small get-togethers at your home, so you don’t have to worry about travel or transportation.

  • Get involved with in-home care.

In-home caregivers can not only help you with different activities of daily living, but they can provide companionship as well. A caregiver is more than happy to sit and talk about current events, listen to stories about your grandkids, reminisce about the past, or read you the newspaper. They can be a partner for playing games or cards. If you want to go somewhere, they can escort you on errands, to the movies, or out to lunch. At the same time, they can assist you with different tasks around the house and ensure you stay safe.

Fight back against isolation and loneliness and live a life you love. Contact Always Best Care at (215) 302-7971 to schedule a free consultation and learn more about the benefits of in-home care in Jenkintown, PA.

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