Karen McPhail, RN, MSN
Preventing Loneliness for Seniors, Especially Over the Holidays
Loneliness, withdrawal, and isolation are some of the biggest issues for older adults. This is especially a problem over the holiday season and during the winter months for those living in areas with in climate weather.
Older adults experience many changes over their lifetime, some more pronounced than others. Mobility is often a huge challenge that deters older adults form getting out, socializing, and being active. In addition, those with advanced age often run out of friends and even family to interact with and become lost and without purpose. Making new friends is not easy at any age, but with mobility issues or normal cognitive changes due to aging it can be daunting for many. We tend to take less risks as we grow older which sadly carries over across all aspects of our life impacting socialization opportunities.
If you have a friend, family member, neighbor, or acquaintance who is an older adult reach out them from time to time. A simple phone call or visit from time to time can make all the difference. Put down a time and date each week or as often as you can accommodate to speak with or visit with them briefly. If you are cooking or baking drop by with some leftovers from time to time or offer to have them over to dine. If you have a pet they may even enjoy a visit from them! Animals often brighten one's day as they show such unconditional love and affection!
Check in to ensure that they have plans for over the holidays. Perhaps offer to come with them to church or temple. If they have mobility issues that deter going out try to work time into your schedule time to celebrate in some way with them on their terms and yours. The littlest effort on your part can make all the difference for an older adult.
Let's all actively stop loneliness and isolation for older adults one person at time! Make this a New Year's resolution that we can all stick to!!!!