In a recent study published in the prestigious journal, International Psychogeriatrics, the data revealed that more people suffer from severe loneliness at three peak periods in their lives. The study showed that people reported the most loneliness in their late 20s, their late 50s, and their late 80s. Any family caregiver with an aging adult that is in their late 80s should pay attention to any signs that their loved one is experiencing chronic loneliness, then take steps to fix that.
How Can Elderly Adults Be Lonely?
It may not come as a surprise to family caregivers to learn that elderly adults have plenty of factors in their lives that contribute to loneliness. Chronic illnesses can limit their physical activity and curtail their ability to drive themselves to appointments and events. Their limited mobility can affect their stamina and strength, making it hard for them to enjoy the activities they used to.
Adult children and grandchildren are frequently busy with their own lives and may neglect their aging relative. The death of friends, family members, and a spouse can also reduce a senior’s social circles. With several age-related changes that have a serious impact on their lives, aging adults have limited resources in which to combat isolation and loneliness. They must really rely on their family caregiver to help them figure out ways to avoid extreme loneliness.
How Elderly Adults Can Avoid Loneliness
Seniors who are in their late 80s will need help from their family caregiver to come up with a plan to avoid loneliness and reduce isolation. While it won’t be easy, it will certainly be worth it. One of the most influential things that family caregivers can do is to hire an in-home elder care provider. These professionals not only provide housekeeping services and self-care assistance, they are companions for the elderly adult in their own home. Elder care providers know the importance of keeping seniors active and involved and are the ideal companions for them.
Elder care providers can organize outings for the aging adult, based on their abilities and medical needs. Ideas include going to a movie, visiting a museum, strolling through a park, visiting friends and family, running errands and attending events at the local senior center. At home, elder care providers can facilitate hobbies, host gatherings of the senior’s friends, and even share meals with the aging adult. Hiring an elder care provider to assist an aging relative can make all the difference in the world to a lonely and isolated elderly adult.
Family caregivers want to avoid allowing their elderly loved one to grow lonely and isolated. When they make companionship and socializing a priority, the positive interactions can truly benefit their elderly relative. When loneliness, boredom and isolation are replaced by positive interactions, the aging adult will certainly grow happier and healthier.