One of the things that homebound seniors miss most is social engagement. Going for too long without interaction can lead to sadness, depression, and may even affect a person’s physical health. Multiple studies have found that seniors who stay engaged with family, friends, and peer groups not only live happier, they live longer as well.
However, it can be hard for an individual to remain gregarious if their age or illnesses keep them at home for extended periods of time. There are things you can do to help your aged loved one remain emotionally and mentally involved from their own living space. Below you’ll find several fun ways to keep seniors socially engaged.
Tips to Boost Elderly Interaction–Keep Seniors Socially Engaged
It may seem counterintuitive to think that seniors would find enjoyment through modern technology but thanks to digital creations like cellphones, Facebook, and Skype you can keep seniors socially engaged with faraway friends, family, and loved ones–it’s as easy as the click of a button. Sure, it might take some time to convince an elderly individual that they can use these technological devices (and some patience to teach them how) but the ability to interact online can be a godsend for many. Just imagine the joy a grandmother would get from seeing here new grandbaby from half a world away, or how much an aging veteran might get out of connecting with old squad mates.
Large gatherings may be a thing of the past (especially if the elderly individual in question is ill) but there’s no reason not to host intimate gatherings from time to time. Bringing family and friends to the homebound individual is a wonderful way to help them get the social interaction they need without adding stress and physical exertion to their lives. And you don’t have to wait for special occasions either. How about weekly afternoon tea or intimate Sunday dinners?
If travelling is still an option, senior centers are wonderful opportunities to keep seniors socially engaged with their peers in a face-to-face setting. These organizations often schedule regular activities (such as sewing circles, charity fund raisers, or visit from schools) to give elderly individuals something new and exciting to do every week.
Go Back to School
Dorm life may be a thing of the past but there’s no reason to stop learning. Online classes and remote ones offered by local community colleges offer mental stimulation and social interaction. The key is to find something the elderly individual is excited about and then dive right in.
Just because an individual is retired doesn’t mean they don’t have anything left to give back to the community. Elderly individuals can find ways to volunteer their skills or give from their vast wealth of life experience in many ways. Old hobbies like knitting or sewing can provide hats and booties for newborns. A life as a nurse or soldier can provide a wealth of knowledge for local school children, civic organizations, or historians. Find ways for individuals to use what they have to benefit others and keep seniors socially engaged by giving back.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring home care in or near Dallas, TX, please call the caring staff at Second Family Home Care at (972) 347-0700.