How To Help Your Aging Parents Deal With Loneliness

 How To Help Your Aging Parents Deal With Loneliness

Elder loneliness is a harsh reality in the US since older people are likelier to live alone here than anywhere else in the world. A recent Pew Research Center study discovered that 27% of adults aged 60 and above live alone compared to 16% of adults in the 130 countries and territories examined. The effects of loneliness on elders extend beyond mere social isolation since it puts them at a higher risk of several conditions and even death. Luckily, there's a lot you can do to make your aging parents less lonely. Here's how to help your aged parents deal with loneliness.

  1. Keep in touch

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Your parents may not be able to drive or may be afraid of taking to the roads due to more traffic and slower reaction times. As such, you will have to do all the visiting to stay in touch with them as they age. Regular visits can give your parents something good to look forward to, so they are never weighed down by loneliness. You can simply drop by for a chat or a cup of tea or plan fun days out with other relatives to make your visit more memorable. These visits will also help you identify and fix key problems in their home to take better care of them. Alternatively, you can keep in touch through regular phone calls, texts, and video chat if you can't visit.

  1. Put them in a nursing home

It is estimated that 1.5 million Americans currently live in nursing homes for various reasons ranging from specialized healthcare needs to assistance with daily living. Nursing homes are also excellent for their social needs since they provide several socialization opportunities that might not be accessible at home or elsewhere. Your aging parents will be surrounded by their peers in a nursing home, so they will always have someone to talk to. What's more, these homes organize fun social activities for seniors like karaoke, board games, group walks, and birthday parties. You can partner with a nursing home advisor to find the right place for your parents if you can't decide on the many available options, so keep this in mind.

  1. Teach them about technology

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Lonely seniors enjoy more socializing opportunities with technology, so it is best to teach them how to navigate it. If you cannot teach your parents how to use smartphones, social media, and computers yourself, you can send the grandkids over for a few helpful lessons. The mere act of teaching your aging parents something new is an excellent social opportunity itself, and the lessons will help them be even more social. For instance, seniors can learn how to reach family members anytime through video chat to keep them amused and socially connected. They can also learn how to use social media, find classes in their area, and join forums to interact with like-minded people. However, the FBI reports that seniors lost almost $1 billion through elder scams in 2020 alone. Therefore, teach your parents about online privacy and how to spot common scams to keep them safe.


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