As the Canadian population continues to age, so does the number of seniors who experience isolation. Unfortunately, loneliness and social isolation are quite common and can have a very large impact on both physical and mental health. With services designed to provide various levels of support, iCare Home Health works with seniors in Mississauga, Oakville and Milton, and can offer several tips on how to reduce the isolation your elderly loved ones may experience.
Seniors who are able to remain socially active and participate in outings and activities will most likely live healthier and happier lives. Isolation may begin due to several different factors such as retirement, loss of family members or friends, an increased likelihood to live alone, or poor health.
4 Ways to Reduce Senior Isolation
As people age, it is normal to need more assistance with daily tasks. While this change is not uncommon, it can feel overwhelming or depressing to individuals who consider themselves independent. Some seniors may avoid asking for help out of embarrassment or to avoid feeling like a burden, but their avoidance often leads to feelings of isolation. Be sure to check with home health services in Mississauga or your local area to learn more about what options exist to increase social interaction and activity for your senior loved one.
Here are a few ways you can reduce social isolation for seniors.
- Provide Access to Transportation.
Lack of options and access to transportation is one of the biggest causes of a social isolation. When seniors reach the milestone where they can no longer drive, they absolutely need help to be able to get around and continue to participate in activities that they enjoy. Ensuring access to public transportation, using an at home health care service like ‘friend at home’, or having family close by to offer rides will help seniors maintain social connections and a sense of independence.
- Encourage Regular Medical Appointments.
Encourage seniors to have their hearing and vision checked regularly. If they are having a hard time hearing or seeing during regular social interactions, they may feel embarrassed and less likely to continue participating in such activities. Similarly, issues like incontinence or mobility issues left unsupported are other common causes of seniors starting to isolate themselves from others.
- Make Use of Technology.
Adaptive technologies, like walkers and hearing aids, help seniors compensate for age related deficits that can impede social interaction. In addition, tablets and computers can give seniors access to games and books, as well as an easy way to stay in contact with friends and loved ones.
- Promote Their Interests.
From playing bridge or staying involved in their place of worship, encourage your senior loved ones to keep up with their hobbies and interests. Help them find regularly scheduled activities to participate in, either through community or senior groups or through church. Not only will they get regular opportunities for social interaction, but they will also become part of a community that can help support them and watch for any signs or mental or physical decline.
Finding Support for Seniors
It is so important to ensure that a senior’s health is not negatively impacted by isolation. Being a caregiver is a big responsibility and if you need help to ensure that your senior loved one has companionship, outings, and independence, it may be time to find out more about home care assistance in the Oakville or Mississauga area. iCare Home Health provides a wide range of premier health care services that can enrich the lives of seniors and help them continue to thrive. Contact us for a free assessment and to learn more about working together to improve quality of life.