The hustle and bustle of the holidays has ended, but winter is far from over; it’s the perfect recipe for loneliness. Seniors are especially vulnerable to becoming lonely at any time and winter can be especially tough.
Loneliness might not sound like a serious problem, but it can have real implications for both mental and physical health. How can you help keep your loved one social, active and involved? Here are five tips to combat loneliness and help protect your loved one’s health this winter.
#1 Listen Up!
Sometimes, the simple act of listening is one of the best gifts you can give your loved one to help them feel less alone. Give them 100% of your attention for as long as they like. Take an active part in the conversation by asking questions, commenting on their stories, and encouraging them to talk about any subject they’re interested in.
#2 It’s Time to Take Up a Hobby
Nothing helps fight boredom and the blues better than a fun and engaging activity. With the right hobby, your loved one will find new energy, express themselves creatively, expand their mind, and boost their self esteem by doing what they love. Help them pick a hobby that works for them.
#3 Bridge the Generation Gap
Grandchildren and other young friends are often the brightest spot of joy for seniors—and the younger generation can learn so much by spending time with their elders. Find ways to connect the two generations in person when possible or set up an online chat or video call as the next best thing.
#4 Bring Music to their Ears
Music is a powerful force that can evoke heartwarming memories and strong emotions—and it has many proven health benefits. Studies show that listening to music can lower heart rate, lessen stress, improve mental health, and even ease pain. And, if your loved one is able, why not twirl around the kitchen table and they’ll get the physical benefits as well!
#5 Teach Your Children Well
If your parent is up to it, encourage them to teach you something. Tap into their lifelong wisdom and ask them to share their knowledge and advice on what they know best. It’ll bring new meaning to their life and help rekindle some of the parent-child dynamic that may have gotten lost as their children start becoming their caregivers.
Home Care Angels provides assistance with daily activities, such as dressing, eating and personal care, from home service aides. Please call 847.824.5221 to speak with one of our Client Care Coordinators if you would like more information on in-home care.