As we get older, it can be harder to get out and about. Mobility can be difficult if conditions such as arthritis take hold and with memory loss, Alzheimer’s, and dementia common in the elderly population, leaving the house can be a challenge or, in a worst-case scenario, a danger.
It is easy for older people to become isolated and, with many still nervous about the pandemic due to vulnerabilities, some are choosing to stay home. This lack of socialization can have an impact on not only their loneliness but also on their mental and physical health.
These simple ways to keep your elderly loved ones in the loop will benefit the whole family.
Visiting elderly relatives regularly is the ideal way to keep them from becoming isolated. These visits needn’t be long and drawn out – it could be as simple as going over for a coffee and a chat or a quick game of Scrabble. If you have a large family around, it can be beneficial to set up a rota. Elderly people thrive on routine, and it also takes the pressure off if you can share the visits with others. If this isn’t possible, consider employing home help to cook, clean, or otherwise help – with visits once or twice a day you can be assured your loved one is being cared for and having the opportunity to enjoy a chat.
Advances in technology allow us to be together even when we’re apart and with facetime, Skype, and Zoom, it’s easier than ever to stay in touch with relatives whether they’re nearby or cross-country. If your family is tech-savvy, then this is the ideal way to see each other regularly without the nightmare of commuting.
Many elderly people enjoy the company of the radio when they are home alone. Chat shows and phone-ins are a great way for them to feel involved with the world outside their home whether they listen in or call and participate. Television can also be a comfort for them, and hearing conversations can keep the brain active, so don’t underestimate the power of technology in keeping your family member feeling connected.
If your parents, grandparents, or other loved ones are struggling to cope at home, assisted living like Brandywine Living may be the answer. Not only will this give them a strong sense of community, but it can also give you peace of mind knowing staff are on hand should they come into difficulty. Many assisted living communities also encourage social interaction through group activities which is beneficial for both the mental and physical well-being of your relative. Many people find that a move to assisted living provides a boost, bringing a better quality of life and new-found energy.
However you support your elderly relatives, be sure you are comfortable and confident in your decision, and remember, whatever option you choose doesn’t have to be forever. You can always reassess if the situation changes.