When your elderly family member becomes too isolated, she may develop issues with depression and other mental and physical health concerns. These can all be avoided by taking a few simple steps to ensure that she’s got the interaction she needs.
Help Her to Find New Interests
One barrier to getting out and to being social is that sometimes your senior can’t do the things she used to do. Her abilities may have changed, which can make her feel as if there’s nothing else that she can do. That doesn’t have to be the case, especially if she finds some new interests in which to get involved. Hobbies, classes, and so much more can be great ways for your elderly family member to get out and to meet new people.
Touch Base with Friendly Neighbors
If your elderly family member has mentioned that her neighbors seem friendly or she’s known them from a distance for a while, it might be a good idea to talk to them about reaching out more to your senior. They might be willing to stop in on a regular basis or at the very least keep an eye on how she’s doing from their side of the proverbial fence. This is especially helpful if you’re not able to be there as often as you want to be.
Make it Easy for Family and Friends to Drop By
When friends and family members want to stop by, are they able to do so easily? It’s worth figuring out how to do that for your senior. One option is to have them call her before coming by. Another idea is to use a group calendar that everyone has access to. It’s easy to see when your senior is available and for people to “sign up” for an afternoon visit.
Remove Transportation Barriers
Many seniors start to become more isolated after they develop problems driving on their own. If your senior is suddenly in that situation, you need to do as much as possible to remove any barriers to her being able to be active and engaged. Elder care providers can handle the driving as well as any other tasks that your senior needs to have sorted. They’re also excellent companions, which can be incredibly helpful when friends and family live far away.
Your elderly family member may not want a lot of attention or interaction with others, but she doesn’t need to be isolated, either. Try some of these ideas to see how well they work for her and for her lifestyle.