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Most of us get so consumed with taking care of our elder’s health, that we totally forget that they might be lonely too.
In fact, loneliness and isolation are one of the most common side effects of aging. When elders become dependent, they end up relying on others to dictate their lives.
If you are in charge of an elder’s care, make sure they never feel isolated. Here are some ideas:
• Give Them Control
After working and taking care of others all their life and then suddenly having nothing to do anymore makes the elders feel useless.
More than that, it takes away from then the opportunity to see familiar and new faces every day. Without a purpose and without a reason, seniors feel socially isolated.
To eliminate loneliness from their lives give them something to take care of, something to nurture and grow. It can be a pet, it could be gardening, or it could be a volunteering program. A purpose will drive them to take a step away from their lonely life; exposing them to new people who share the same interests.
• Make Transportation readily available for them
Isolation begins from staying at home. Being trapped in four walls will make even the most sociable person isolated. Seniors become trapped because they become dependent on their caregivers.
If you love them, set them free. And for that, you’ll need to make sure that they have transportation readily available.
Just make sure that there’s no danger of them getting lost on their way back, or hurting themselves in any way.
You can either make sure that they have access to public transport or you can simply hire someone to chauffeur them around. Responsible youngsters with a license would do a great job of that. When the elders can go places easily, they’ll never feel alone.
• Help Them Stay Engaged In What They Love
As a caretaker, you might have to go a little out of your way to make this happen, but it must be done.
If the elder in your care has a hobby, make sure they get to continue that. If they love books, get them subscriptions to a library or introduce them to audiobooks.
If they like to cook, customize the kitchen to suit their needs. If they love hanging out with their buddies, make sure that it happens regularly. And most importantly, let them stay close to the people that they love.
If your hands are full, then you can reach out to a homecare service to take care of the elders at home. While you can do all the fun stuff with them to make sure that they never feel isolated.