Easing Loneliness in Seniors

Posted 01-19-2021 by Kristi Holm, LPN

With the implementation of a new wave of COVID-19 lockdowns, it is inevitable that feelings of loneliness may arise, particularly in seniors.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), nearly one-fourth of socially isolated seniors aged 65 and older are at risk for other health complications, including depression, cognitive decline, dementia and heart disease.

Additionally, any existing medical conditions that result in a senior having to isolate from loved ones can exacerbate the negative effects of loneliness. Due to these potential dangers, family members should look for signs that an older parent is feeling lonely.

Below are three indications that your older loved one may be feeling lonely:
  1. Behavior and personality changes: Significant behavioral changes may indicate loneliness in your loved one. Examples of these changes include quieter demeanor, mood swings, apathy, deriving less enjoyment from normally fun activities, and cutting off interactions with friends and family. If your senior is suffering from any of these changes, they may be suffering from isolation.
  2. Reduced self-care: Losing or gaining weight, neglecting daily routines, and ignoring personal hygiene are all signs that your loved one may be lonely.
  3. Loss of a close friend or spouse: Losing a friend or spouse can be incredibly taxing on a senior, both physically and mentally. This feeling can compound if your senior spent large amounts of time with the friend or spouse they lost, which can lead to feelings of loneliness.

Fortunately, there are ways to help alleviate the symptoms of loneliness in your loved one. Reaching out to your senior every so often can help reduce any feelings of loneliness.

Even if it’s just a simple conversation, being able to talk to other loved ones regularly can help your senior feel more socially engaged, reducing the effects of seclusion.

Investing time in an enjoyable activity can also help reduce feelings of isolation in your senior. Encourage your senior to rediscover an old pastime, or pursue a new hobby to alleviate their loneliness. If your senior is having trouble finding an activity to do alone, suggest a pastime that you can partake in or learn together.

For more information about easing loneliness in seniors from the experts at Pure Home Health Care, please contact us here or call us directly at 877.234.6188.