According to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, one-fourth of older adults are currently experiencing loneliness and are socially isolated. This is distressing news as loneliness can be detrimental to one’s mental health and emotional well-being. Depression, lack of sleep, and a reduction in cognitive health can all be caused by social isolation. Not to mention the significant risk for medical conditions such as chronic stress and high blood pressure. For your loved ones to lead a happy and healthy lifestyle, here are some tips to prevent loneliness in your loved ones.
This should be a no-brainer, but unfortunately, many children do not visit their parents often enough. This goes especially for children who have moved away to other states, are no longer staying with their parents, or have a busy schedule. If possible, you should spend time with your loved ones at least once a week, as these visits provide an opportunity to check up on them to ensure that their well-being is taken care of. While it may not seem like such a big deal, these visits put a huge smile on your loved ones’ faces and instantly brightens up their days.
Encourage Attending Events in the Community
Here in GreenTree At Westwood, we have a full-time Activities Director who is responsible for updating the schedule with exciting activities each day. From nature walks to dart games, these events allow residents to socialize with each other and form closer connections. As your loved ones may not have friends and family nearby, it’s important for them to gain new ones, and a way to do so is by participating in these activities. Therefore, do encourage your loved ones to step out of their comfort zone. You can even accompany them during some events to calm their nerves.
Get a Pet
Pets, especially dogs, are known to be man’s best friend, and for good reasons. They make great companions and will accompany you through thick and thin. Their loyalty is truly unmatched. Having pets can also be beneficial to our mental health. In fact, multiple studies have shown that pets can cure depression and enhance our mood due to their playful nature. Other benefits include improving social connection, lowering blood pressure, and lessening the feeling of loneliness.
Be a Volunteer
Your loved ones should consider becoming a volunteer, which is one of the best ways to be less lonely, while at the same time, giving back to the community. In Indiana, charitable organizations such as Advocates for Children and Our Hospice of South Central Indiana are sometimes looking for volunteers. Besides doing good, volunteering comes with a number of benefits for your loved ones, including improving physical well-being, expanding their network of friends, and staying engaged with the community.
Take Walks Together
If you’re visiting your loved ones, make a mental note to bring them out for walks among the greenery. Heading outdoors and breathing the fresh air can relieve stress in your loved ones and soothe any worries. What’s more, taking walks can enhance cognitive function, which slows down mental decline.