With the advancement in healthcare education, we know more about senior care than we did before. The elderly population is a growing topic of concern, as they are faced with multiple physical, mental as well as social role changes in their lives. Most senior adults experience an increasing sense of loneliness and depression which challenges their sense of self and their ability to live happily.
In many cases, these feelings occur as a result of living alone or due to a lack of social connection with close friends and family. This also causes many senior loved ones to feel isolated, increasing their feeling of loneliness.
Causes of Loneliness In Senior Adults
Feelings of loneliness in adults can occur for multiple reasons. These feelings may arise due to the death of a loved one, retirement and leaving their place of work, a decrease in their mobility or lack of transport. Diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s can also lead to feelings of loneliness and depression.
What Leads To Overlooking Loneliness and Depression In The Elderly?
Many senior adults fail to recognize the symptoms of loneliness and how it plays an active role in increasing symptoms of depression. This causes many caregivers to fail to take the necessary step that can help them feel better.
Here are a few reasons that can lead to overlooking symptoms of depression and loneliness in the elderly.
Assuming It Is Part of Aging
While aging does mean adapting to a different, more restricted lifestyle, depression lies at a more severe end of the spectrum. It may be part of aging but caregivers should always encourage senior loved ones to ask for help so that symptoms do not worsen.
Assuming Physical Complaints Are Not a Symptom
As we age, our bodies go through many changes. Elderly loved ones often complain of body aches but some of these physical pains may not be signs of aging but rather, signs of depression.
It’s Difficult to Talk about Their Feelings and Ask For Help
Many senior loved ones often hesitate while asking for help, in an attempt to not cause their caregivers inconvenience. This includes talking about their feelings of loneliness, isolation and depression.
How Can You Help Your Loved Ones?
If you are worried about a senior loved one suffering from signs of loneliness, rest assured that there are many ways in which you can help them feel better.
Spending Time Outdoors
Spending time outdoors is a great way to change the environment. Moreover, looking around at greenery and being close to nature is scientifically proven to be a prescription for better mental health. Going to a local park can help your senior loved one get to know new people and take a short stroll may help them feel less isolated.
The Great Internet
The internet allows greater connectivity to senior loved ones, as it does to all of us today. Social media apps such as Skype and Facebook can help your senior loved ones stay connected with their friends and family that live far away. In fact, many seniors today have gotten in touch with their old college friends through Facebook.
Moreover, you can always find online games to keep your senior loved one’s mind active and busy. Many online games are designed especially for seniors to improve their mental capabilities as they age.
Joining Local Groups to Increase Social Interaction
There are many support groups for senior adults that you can help them join. This will help them meet new people and increase their chances of social interaction. To find local groups for seniors, check out local newspapers and notice boards at community centers. You can also try getting in touch with a certified senior care advisor.
Learning A New Skill
Learning a new skill through a class is not only a great way to interact with new people but it is also a great way to keep your mind active. The best part is that one can learn a new skill at any age and it can result in lessening your senior loved one’s feelings of loneliness and isolation.
Need More Help?
If you’re unsure about how to best care for your senior loved one and are considering a move to an assisted living facility for your loved one in the Kansas City metropolitan area, get in touch with Ralph Caro.
Ralph Caro is a Certified Senior Care Advisor who has been in the Health Care industry for over 35 years. Caro offers a free of charge consultation regarding the care packages that are the best fit and suited to you and your loved one’s budget. Get in touch with Ralph for your free consultation today and get your senior the care you deserve!