The importance of preventing loneliness and social isolation in the elderly is at an all-time high. With the continuation of senior center shutdowns and social distancing requirements, the chance of older adults spending most of their time alone has risen dramatically, leading to an increased chance of social isolation and feelings of loneliness.
However, social isolation has always been an issue. People are constantly searching for solutions to reduce social isolation in older adults. Some questions we hear include: How do you engage a senior who’s lonely, but doesn’t seem to want to interact? My elderly mother is lonely: what do I do? And most currently, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, how do we prevent social isolation in the elderly during shutdowns?
The Effects of Loneliness on the Elderly
There are several serious health effects that loneliness and social isolation can cause or exacerbate.
Some Effects of Loneliness on the Elderly:
- Heart disease
- Reduced immunity
Realizing the impact of loneliness and spreading awareness on the need to prevent and reduce social isolation increases the chance solutions will be implemented. Loneliness not only impacts the individual, but their caretakers, their living facilities, and the country’s entire healthcare system.
Social isolation is a global problem, and requires a global solution. Here are three ways we can help reduce social isolation in older adults every day.
Interventions for Social Isolation in the Elderly
Here are some important solutions to help reduce social isolation in older adults.
Using Engagement Software:
One of the best ways to manage and prevent social isolation is through technological innovation focused on increasing resident engagement. It’s important to first evaluate what your senior community or loved one needs.
Senior living engagement software can be life changing, and life saving. Senior communities should try using senior living technologies to not only help staff and executives, but also keep residents engaged and embracing life.
Keeping loneliness and social isolation at bay not only helps senior-based organizations reduce expenses and better allocate limited resources, but also prevents a myriad of health concerns and enhances longevity. Read here for some easy-to-use engagement software options.
Activities for Isolated Seniors:
Creating social activities for seniors to enjoy is one of the best ways to prevent social isolation in the elderly. Of course, all games are fun, but ones that require collaboration and positive interaction are best for mitigating feelings of loneliness. During the COVID-19 era, this can be more challenging, but it’s possible to create socially distant--and completely virtual--communities for senior citizens.
Need some ideas for your senior residents, or older loved one?
- Learn how to host the best virtual trivia game for seniors, or virtual bingo. Both are great options for seniors looking to make friends and become part of a group, and because they’re remote, they keep the elderly safe during this time.
- This article has five great exercise routines for seniors to try, helping out seniors’ social, physical, and mental health.
- Check out these games for older adults developed specifically to advance their social wellness.
- And last but not least, 11 awesome ideas for activity directors to bring to their senior residents during quarantine.
Creating Support Groups:
Support groups for senior citizens can be a great way to help with loneliness. Support groups can help older adults understand their feelings of loneliness and regain a sense of purpose. And by creating a community for the seniors, they manage social isolation two-fold.
At televëda, we’ve been hosting support groups for seniors to meet and learn about different tools they can use to manage life during stressful times, and beyond. And, check out Care.com’s list of support groups for older adults that are organized by different needs and interests.
Start Combating Loneliness in the Elderly
At televëda, understanding how to help the elderly with loneliness, as well as share that information with others, is one of our missions.
By building virtual communities that can support the staff, families, and other caretakers of the elderly, senior citizens can receive the tools they need to live happier, healthier, and longer lives.
Contact us today to see what we can do for your community.