Consistent and engaging social interaction plays an incredibly important role in contributing to the overall state of health and wellbeing we experience at all stages of life. Meaningful relationships with friends and loved ones are a big part of what helps us feel connected to the world around us, reminding us that we not only have the capacity to care deeply for others, but also that others care about and value us.
Interacting with others in fulfilling ways should be an essential aspect of day-to-day life for everyone at any age. Unfortunately, the reality for many seniors is that isolation and loneliness are much more prevalent than one might think. Focusing on the sense of connectedness that is so necessary and valuable to overall health can be extremely helpful for our aging loved ones.
Growing older impacts some aspects of life that can make it more challenging for seniors to forge or maintain relationships and a sense of belonging. The following are a few examples of possible contributors to feelings of loneliness and isolation among seniors:
For many seniors, staying at home alone can seem like the easier option compared to attempting to navigate some or all of the factors listed above. Because of this, many seniors allow themselves to sink deeper into feelings of isolation, loneliness, or depression. Some of the risks associated with prolonged feelings of isolation in seniors include:
Keeping in mind all of the potential risks, it becomes evident just how important it is to help our senior loved ones remain connected and socially engaged in meaningful ways. The following are some suggestions to reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness:
Staying connected is something that becomes increasingly difficult for many seniors as they age, and their networks and capabilities change. Maintaining social relationships takes effort, and making time to do so should be a top priority for seniors.
Home caregivers can help establish and maintain the framework needed to develop consistent and meaningful forms of socialization accessible to seniors in Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge. It is crucial to minimize feelings of isolation and loneliness to promote greater overall health and wellbeing.