How to Combat Loneliness in Your Aging Loved One

how to combat loneliness

If your parents and grandparents want to pursue an independent lifestyle in retirement, you should support them. Bear in mind that they can maintain their privacy and still enjoy companionship.

Visiting our loved ones regularly and planning exciting activities together will keep them feeling loved and cared for. There are several activities, hobbies, and pursuits they can take up to remain engaged and continue socializing.

Some older adults living alone are more susceptible to feeling lonely than those in retirement residences. Individuals like these should pursue their lifestyles in retirement communities where they can associate with like-minded people.

At Seasons Retirement, we have built a pleasant environment where older adults can receive support and care from the staff and fellow residents. We also organize events and activities to create opportunities for residents to have fun, socialize, and meet new people.

This article will discuss how to combat loneliness in your older loved one. The following are ways to make your parents and grandparents feel loved and appreciated.

1.   Be present to listen

At times, all your loved one may need is someone to hear them talk about their day or listen to a recent event that excited them.

While being present to listen is an excellent first step, you can make your presence more impactful by taking some time to learn about their interests. This way, you can be involved in their discussions, broadening the conversations and even making things more fun by asking meaningful questions.

2.   Share a hobby

Your older one probably has some hobbies and pastimes they enjoy. They may be activities that they participate in to stay active and build social connections.

Joining your parents to participate in their hobbies can enhance their experience, adding more excitement to the activities. Moreover, when they don’t feel like engaging in any of their pastimes, the thought of spending time with you may be the motivation they need to rekindle their interest.

So, develop a plan that includes sharing recreational activities with your loved ones to provide companionship and ensure they don’t feel alone.

3.   Invite them to social gatherings

When it comes to feeling included, an essential step to combat loneliness in your older ones is inviting them to social outings, especially with their family and relatives. After all, maintaining old social connections is as vital as forging new ones.

Your older loved ones bonding with their grandkids and other younger people in the family can help raise their spirits and improve their energy levels. Also, having conversations with other relatives will ensure they stay sociable while keeping up with happenings in the family.

Additionally, you can invite your parents and grandparents to social gatherings to meet new people and make new friends.

4.   Take a class

Your older folks can also learn how to stop being lonely in classes, where they learn more about their interests and passions. Such classes create an avenue to be in the company of people, which is essential for individuals dealing with loneliness.

Moreover, since your parents are likely to meet like-minded people with similar interests in these gatherings, building a relationship should be relatively easy.

Hence, you should encourage your loved one to take up any class of interest, including dancing classes, knitting classes, art classes, and so on.

5.   Teaching

If learning doesn’t interest your loved one, then sharing knowledge might be something they enjoy more. They don’t have to go out of their way to teach, like giving lessons in the classroom or in public places.

Instead, you can ask them genuine questions about their interests and listen to them as they share insightful information about these subjects during your conversations.

Meanwhile, during family gatherings, you can encourage them to tell their grandchildren a story, teach them how to play certain games, or even organize activities like fishing. This way, your older one will feel happier, more enthusiastic, and more involved in activities around them.

6.   Volunteering

Giving back to the community offers immense physical and mental health benefits to older persons. First and foremost, it provides an opportunity for your loved one to go to new places and socialize with people.

Additionally, volunteering can help keep your loved ones mentally sharp while giving them a sense of belonging. Whether by an act of service or donating funds, your parents will feel good about themselves for contributing to society.

7.   Keep a pet

Pets have been proven to provide the same kind of companionship as fellow individuals, and there are plenty of mental health and wellness benefits associated with caring for a pet.

For example, research suggests that adopting and caring for a pet animal can offer benefits such as increased serotonin production, which helps get proper sleep and rest each night.

Suppose your loved one doesn’t feel ready to take care of a pet. In that case, you can also encourage them to participate in pet therapy, where interactions with animals can comfort people dealing with loneliness.

8.   Engage in recreational activities

Engaging in certain leisure activities can be therapeutic and help your older one overcome loneliness. For example, when your parents go on a walk, their mood and energy levels increase, causing them to feel good about themselves.

Moreover, most recreational activities can be carried out in groups, providing an opportunity to socialize, maintain old relationships and create new ones. Walking clubs, for instance, are an effective way for older adults to interact while exercising at the same time.

9.   Eating healthy

Scientific studies reveal that lonely seniors tend to have an affinity for less healthy meals. Healthy meals like omega-3 fatty foods help keep the body’s energy levels high.

So, it would help if you encouraged your parents to eat nutritious foods that will give them the strength to engage in recreational activities where they can socialize and interact with like-minded people.

Final thoughts

Your older loved ones deserve all the love, care, and support they can get. By following the tips mentioned above on combatting loneliness, they can remain social and continue to engage with their friends and associates, even if they value their privacy.

Seasons Retirement has several retirement homes in Ontario and Alberta dedicated to making our residents feel like they’re a part of a larger community and family.

Discover Life at Seasons. Book a Personal Visit Today.