Combating the Epidemic of LonelinessJune 26th, 2012 | Posted by in Senior Care
It’s amazing to think how easy it is to communicate with the entire world, yet research has shown that we, as a society, are more lonely than we have ever been, and the age group who feels it the most is the elderly. According to research, 43% of the elderly report feeling lonely on a regular basis. Lonely seniors are more likely to have increased health problems and die faster. And if this news isn’t bad enough, loneliness is contagious. Solitary seniors are more prone to behavior that causes others not to want to be around them.
Even if they are receiving some sort of nursing home therapy or have caregivers looking out for them, many are not engaging in deep or meaningful conversation. Seniors feel pushed aside and forgotten about by their own families. But there are easy solutions for both caregivers and family members to help. It starts by listening and observing. Engage in a meaningful conversation, ask them about their interests, past experiences, etc. Let them teach you something new. After all these years, there is still plenty they can show you! Try to bridge the gap between the generations and find something interesting for grandchildren and grandparents to do.
Finally, find a way for them to spend more time with people, whether that means hiring a caregiver or placing them in a nursing home.