December 3, 2018 at 8:30 pm · Senior Living Georgia · Comments Off on Is Your Parent Feeling Isolated in Their Personal Care Home? Here are 5 Facts You Should Know!
It can be difficult to watch our parents age. Especially if we have to make the decision to move them from complete independence to personal care/assisted living.
You hope that they’ll immediately settle in and make friends. But sometimes, they end up feeling isolated.
This happens more often than you might think.
How to Help If Your Parent Is Feeling Isolated
If your parent is showing signs of social isolation, you don’t want to ignore it. Feelings of loneliness in seniors can increase the risk of depression, anxiety, eating issues, alcohol or drug abuse, and other mental health issues.
It can also increase the chance of high blood pressure, osteoporosis, arthritis, glaucoma and even heart disease.
There are things you can do to help if your parent(s) are experiencing social isolation symptoms.
1. Have Their Hearing and/or Vision Tested
Even if your father insists his hearing is fine, or your mother says her eyes are better than ever, they may have undiagnosed or untreated hearing loss or vision problems.
If that’s the case, they may be avoiding social situations because they find it difficult to communicate and are embarrassed. Strongly encourage them to get hearing and/or vision tests to take down that social barrier.
2. Keep Them Connected
If you’re noticing symptoms of isolation, get as many family members and loved ones as possible to engage with your parent(s) on a regular basis. It can be an email, a handwritten letter or even just a five minute check in on the phone every week.
Grandchildren can also provide much-needed lightness. If possible, try to arrange “play dates” with the grandkids at least once per month. And plan some sort of activity they can all do together. Even the simplest activity is better than nothing.
3. Involve Them in Caring for Something
One of the most effective ways to relieve feelings of social isolation is through the act of nurturing. There’s a lot of research that shows that pet owners have less depression, feel more secure, require less medication and generally make more constructive use of their time.
Of course, a pet might not be appropriate – or even permitted in certain situations. But even caring for a small garden or a few houseplants can be energizing.
4. Ensure They Have Transportation
The inability to get out and about is one of the leading causes of senior isolation. If your parents can no longer drive, they need a way to stay connected and to feel part of a vibrant community.
Sure, you may be able to cover some transportation. But there are also many free or low-cost transport services available for seniors. Plus, it’s another way for them to connect with other seniors. So check with your local area agency on aging for a list of options.
5. Encourage Them to Be Active
If your parents enjoyed being active when they were younger, this doesn’t mean that they should keep hitting the gym every day.
But getting involved with hobbies or interests is going to lighten the sense of social isolation. So check with the local senior center for social activities or planned events they might like.
And if they are physically able, encourage volunteer work. This is sure to instill a healthy sense of purpose in their lives.
Your Parents Deserve the Best
While feeling isolated can be a normal part of transitioning to a new setting, helping your parents settle in starts by showing them how much you care.
If you’re looking for a superior personal care home senior living, then schedule a tour with us today. We look forward to meeting you!