This holiday season, there’s a uniquely special gift that many elderly individuals likely have on their wish lists – your time. Because of the pandemic, many people have been isolated from their extended families. This has been particularly difficult on seniors. Especially if they battle with mobility issues, older adults may already be suffering emotionally. A lack of independence makes being lonely a very hard thing to deal with.
How can you help the older adults in your life if they are lonely and depressed?
Engage in regular conversations.
You may not be able to be physically present with your elderly loved one all the time. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t keep in touch. For many seniors, phone calls are adequate remedies for lonely days. Be sure to stay closely connected to the senior in your life by offering up at least a few minutes of your day over the phone. You can take things a step further by encouraging your elderly loved one to reach out to others as well.
According to Zara Lewis on DailyCaring.com, it’s important to give seniors a sense of purpose. “Struggle with depression is much tougher for people who’ve lost their sense of purpose in life,” she writes, “To keep loneliness and brooding at bay, encourage the senior to take up a hobby such as knitting or gardening. You can also talk them into trying social pastime activities such as card playing, yoga, or volunteer work for a local charity.”
Pick up a home assistant.
Even the least tech-savvy member of your family can utter the words “Hey Google!” and follow it up with a question. Believe it or not, home assistant devices, like the Google Nest Mini or Amazon Alexa, can help a person who lives alone to feel like a companion is nearby. As you may already be aware, these devices answer questions by surfing the web. However, they also play music and games with their users.
“Digital home assistant devices like Google Home or Amazon Echo can help with making daily routines simpler with voice activated technology,” agrees Nurse Next Door, “You can ask the device what the weather is today, to play you your favourite song etc.”
Encourage social interaction.
Does your elderly loved one spend a lot of time alone by choice? Even with other family members around, many older adults choose to stay isolated in their bedrooms. It’s wise to try to discourage this. Generally, getting your elderly loved one to engage with others his/her age would be ideal. But COVID-19 has made that a health risk. Why not encourage your parent to get on a FaceTime, Skype or Zoom call with a loved one?
“Studies suggest that an active social life improves physical, mental, and emotional health, which are especially important for the elderly struggling with loneliness and depression,” reveals Lewis.
At Advantage Home Health Solutions, we’d love to do our part in helping your elderly loved battle loneliness and depression. Is he/she suffering from a mobility issue we can help with? Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any of your questions and concerns. Learn all about our accessibility and mobility solutions by giving us a call at 403-460-5438. You may also email us by filling out the form on our Contact page!