It is not unusual for the aging process to include restrictions on social life. As it becomes more difficult to drive, walk or move around without fear of falling, your senior parent may find it very difficult to keep up with any social circle and may be overcome with feelings of loneliness.
The bigger danger with loneliness is that it lends itself to bigger problems with physical and mental health. Loneliness and depression go hand-in-hand and when seniors suffer from depression they are less likely to stay active, manage medication well and desire general health. Home care assistance can help combat this slippery slope of sadness by helping to keep your senior parent involved in social activities.
There are plenty of options for keeping your loved one happy and avoiding the plague of loneliness. You can begin by involving family and close friends for regular visits. Every parent loves a visit from her child or children and even more so from her grandchildren or great grandchildren. Within your own busy family schedule, it may seem impossible to add one more thing, but try to divide your time so that once or twice per week Mom gets some time with a family member. When grandchildren are assigned a project of interviewing a senior, have the child talk face to face instead of conducting a phone interview, if possible. Even if you aging parent has a difficult time standing or moving around the room, she may be able to bake her favorite recipe with one of the kids if you or a home care assistance caregiver helps gather the ingredients and your mother gives the directions. This experience may even be the start of, or enhance, a strong and beautiful relationship within your family.
You may want to give your aging mom and her friends a monthly treat of organizing a game night or afternoon. Perhaps she has friends from church or even her own siblings who live nearby but find it difficult to make social arrangements. A home care assistance provider can help you organize an evening or afternoon where these friends can join in board games or card games to enjoy the company of one another and feel connected again.
There are many social events for seniors that go under-publicized. Check local churches, community organizations and senior centers, as well as on the internet for local senior outings or group gatherings where your mom can connect with a group that shares her interests in knitting, card games, shopping, walking or anything else she enjoys. Keeping your parent involved will help her fight against the threat of loneliness and help her maintain overall health.