Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to connect with our older loved ones. The time spent together can be just as good for their health as it is for yours.
The older someone is, the less mobile they may be and the more difficult it is to establish new relationships and interests. This can lead to social isolation and serious physiological and psychological health concerns. It may wreak havoc with your immune system and increase inflammation, leading to diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, and other major health conditions.
Regardless of the causes of senior isolation, the consequences can be alarming, and even harmful. Even perceived social isolation – the feeling that you are lonely – is a struggle for many older people. Recent surveys found that 40% of adults admitted to being lonely.
Fortunately, the past couple of decades have seen increasing research into the causes and prevention of loneliness in seniors.
Here are 5 tips that can help:
- Encourage new interests and hobbies.
- Help get them moving with exercise class. Some businesses offer low cost or free options for Senior Citizens.
- Recommend volunteer opportunities.
- Find a low maintenance pet such as a bird or cat that an aging friend could adopt.
- Learn about low cost transportation or offer rides.
Do everything you can to help your elderly loved one stay socially healthy and if you have extra time, please consider volunteering with The Center for Volunteer Caregiving. This is an excellent way to make a positive impact on your community, while also helping to brighten a senior’s day in a positive way. We match volunteers with seniors, caregivers and adults with disabilities who are in need of friendly visits, transportation, in-home support and other services.
Learn more about volunteering on our website or call 919-460-0567 to get involved today.