Loneliness and isolation are two significant issues that today’s elderly face. A healthy mind and body are not only important to us, but crucial for healthy aging, too. Here are a few things that can help ward off loneliness and isolation for your loved ones.
Ensure Transportation is Available
Many seniors aren’t able to drive, which is a major cause of social isolation. As a caregiver or family member, you can help prevent social isolation by making sure that transportation is readily available, or by giving your family member a ride when they need it.
According to data reported by A Place for Mom, an assisted living facility, people over the age of 60 who had access to a bus pass were more likely than their peers to take part in active travel, which includes walking, biking or using public transportation. This helps to increase social and physical activity. As a caregiver you can check to see what local public transportation options are offered in your area. Care.com, for example, provides a list of transportation resources in Arizona, which includes cab programs and dial-a-ride services. Search for your city and see what is available. Depending on level of mobility, setting them up with the Uber or Lyft app might be a good option for a social senior.
Suggest Senior-Friendly Activity Trackers
Fitness wearables are great for keeping track of steps and activity levels, both of which are important for seniors. Not only are these devices great for inspiring activity, these devices provide a social element, too. The Lively Wearable senior fitness tracker by GreatCall does both. It promotes a healthy and active lifestyle with its daily step count feature, and offers challenges that help to keep the mind sharp, plus it provides health tips to keep seniors engaged. In addition to its features that help users stay active, the device also has potentially life-saving features like its urgent response, non-emergency and emergency call options, each of which can alert family members. The wearable has a sleek design, is waterproof and, when worn properly around the neck in a specially-designed lanyard, can call for help when it detects that a user has fallen.
Encourage Dining with Peers
Caretakers and loved ones can fight loneliness and isolation by encouraging seniors to dine with friends, family and peers whenever possible. Eating with others is one of the most common shared social acts, whether it’s for a special occasion or just a weeknight dinner, food simply brings people together. Not only does dining with others promote social activity, it can also benefit senior health by promoting better nutrition. Opportunities for shared meals can be found at churches and senior centers, for example. Additionally, family members and caregivers can also consider hosting a family meal once a week that brings everyone together in a shared social setting, at home or at a restaurant.
There are several ways to prevent social isolation for your elderly loved ones. Whether it’s wearable tech made just for seniors or a simple, shared meal, caregivers and loved ones can help do their part to prevent loneliness.
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